Re-interpretation of library program:The Seattle Public Library

Baran, Rabia Aytül
The alteration of both information type and information access has led a change in the role and function of library, which is the dedicated space for information storage. Therefore, the library should be re-considered in this respect. Throughout this study, it is aimed to examine and discuss this alteration and the re-invention of library in terms of architectural program and spatial organization. Correspondingly, to understand the change in library, the thesis dwells on the case of the Seattle Public Library (SPL), designed by OMA/LMN Partnership (2004) particularly by focusing on the themes of publicity and technology. With these objectives, an analysis is conducted both on the presentation proposal of the Seattle Public Library, namely, Concept Book, and on the built edifice. Inferring from the analyses, it can be argued that the main functions of the library as the places of preservation and places of accessing has altered dramatically due to the changes occurred in technology. Respectively, the public duty of the library is emphasized to compensate the results of these technological alterations. This thesis claims that library of today is not only a storage and an accessing space for information but also a social public space carrying multiple identities. Simultaneous existence of these identities creates a tension in the space of library. This tension presents itself in the form of “third space,” which embraces dualities and conflicting conditions, yet goes beyond as to accommodate indeterminate programmatic changes. The library as a third space is shaped with the issues of both domestification and commodification in a way to provide a more comfortable and homely environment to its users to be appropriated and to survive in the consumer culture.
Citation Formats
R. A. Baran, “Re-interpretation of library program:The Seattle Public Library,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2013.