New Design Style for a Contemporary Library

36 – In this book, Ken Worpole, a world renowned designer of public spaces, provides insight into some of the most critical decisions that must be made when creating a contemporary library. Focusing on the key practical issues that have to be resolved by anybody involved in library planning, design, and execution, here Ken Worpole presents his renowned experience as an expert teacher. In this accessible book, readers will be challenged to consider their own individual learning style, as well as how they can best serve their community. As a result, many of the practical challenges of contemporary library design are systematically addressed, revealing the importance of taking a “personalization” approach to such projects. Worpole’s detailed descriptions of different design approaches-from traditional to contemporary library designs-help readers develop the skills to critically evaluate library applications and decide which ones will be most beneficial for their community. Following his experience, Worpole presents a number of “do’s and don’t” regarding contemporary library design, ranging from choosing a proper floor plan to the implementation of his recommended features.

Impressive Decoration of Contemporary Library

To help readers more effectively evaluate contemporary library plans, Worpole provides an illustrative case study of his own experience designing and building libraries in Los Angeles, California. With an impressive selection of twenty-six individual libraries, ranging from large regional libraries to smaller community-based ones, Worpole illustrates the wide variety of styles and designs that can be achieved through comprehensive library planning. By contrasting several design approaches, he hopes to provide a useful guide for architects, designers, and library administrators. As he points out, the key to designing a contemporary library is in the details. A careful evaluation of each design detail is necessary to ensure that the library model ultimately meets the unique needs and preferences of its users.

Most people assume that a contemporary library consists of a central reading room and several smaller reading rooms located in different locations throughout the building. Contrary to popular belief, however, a contemporary library is not merely a series of reading rooms or a single room. Rather, it consists of at least two separate but connected spaces: the reading room, which is located on the main floor of the building; and the central library, which are usually located in an area such as a green roof, in the basement of the building. Although some buildings include both a reading room and the central library in one space, many include a combination of the two in order to allow people to easily perform multiple tasks, such as visiting the library and then visiting a client’s office or home. For this reason, contemporary library designs often include both a reading room and a central library.

Benefit From Contemporary Libraries

Contemporary libraries may be classified according to the various functions they serve. For instance, contemporary libraries may serve as research centers, offering specialized programs for borrowers and others; or they may be used to conduct collections, with books, periodicals, or other materials arranged in a convenient way within easy reach. Others are designed to act as public gathering places, offering the services of expert speakers, musical performances, news reports, or other activities for the entire community or town. Still others focus on certain specific functions, such as political organizing, business meetings, or religious meetings. Furthermore, some contemporary libraries are designed to simply provide a place for people to read or study independently, without the presence of other people.

Community libraries are built for the benefit of the entire community. They often feature a central database of public documents and services, which allow users to search for information or get reference materials in a simple and convenient manner. The database often contains local information from city, county, state, or national levels, as well as international information. Community libraries also feature special collections focused on a particular area, such as furniture, photography, food recipes, or national parks. These special collections allow users to locate sources for everything from local music to national maps.

Factors Of Contemporary Library Architecture

Other factors that influence the architecture of contemporary and community libraries include: the amount of room available for circulation, design of the reading areas, the building type, and the relationship between outdoor and indoor spaces. As with most forms of architecture, the most fundamental characteristic is the use of materials that are functional and/or pleasing to the eye. Materials such as granite, wood, glass, and concrete are common and can be found in libraries of all sizes.

Book Mountain and Murphy Park District are two examples of a well-known community library. Characterized by an earthy, rural feel, these spaces feature earth floors and exposed brick. The interior walls are covered with photos and art, while the roof features a variety of roofing materials, including tile, corrugated metal, and slate. The building type is a multi-story building that houses several reading areas. Many of the spaces contain specialized “zoning areas,” which restrict floor size and create unique floor designs.

Although these spaces are reminiscent of large open-air public libraries, vennesla library architect Rob Veneer has created a unique new twist on the community library. His Venesla library offers urban design elements that create an urban core surrounded by outdoor gardens and courtyards. This unique architectural innovation is highlighted by the presence of a glass thumb island that serves as a media center for the Veneer-designed library.


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