After a long book reading session, we find ourselves out of the mundane hurry by accomplishing a new sense of engagement around the plot. A quest for knowledge, the ritual of a labyrinth, the demand of a fiction fighter, or a search for truth are the set functions that a library composes.

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A beautiful aesthetic to Library_©www.wallpaperaccess.com

Public Libraries hold a laid-back history of their origin and transformations. Initially, people visited the library for a ritual of Labyrinth. A Labyrinth is a complicated passage of networks where you intentionally lose your way to find the endpoint. In a constantly rushing lifestyle and no time to feel a sense of stop, we tend to be overwhelmed by the loop of daily routine. That’s why priests in medieval times preferred to perform Labyrinth to disconnect themselves from the world to connect again. And in the present scenario of advancements in technology and changing needs, Library spaces are redesigned concerning the needs of users and amid the growth of the digital world where we find ourselves off with reading a complete book and prefer digital summaries for the same.

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Illustration for a type of Labyrinth_©www.labyrinthsociety.org

After tons of research and theories with numerous attempts to design a relevant model for public libraries, we came across the idea to justify people’s needs and design for people, where traditional design and technology amalgamate for a cohesive environment of knowledge and productivity.

Why can’t we use the deep and slow living to cure the hurry sickness,
And coworking and discussion areas to invite gatherings.
The best part is we can achieve this in a public library.

Today, in this constantly rushing environment, humans seek to get away to control hurry sickness and find a sense of stop and release to realign with the world. Libraries that provide intentional allies force you to forget the stress and get in search of the end can help people get over their daily chaos and hypertension for realignment with their soul purpose. It can also be thought of as a secure place to journal about your day, especially for people who find moving on and letting go hard can come and write what happened or about their mistakes which they fear to share but can write. And after completing, he may leave it on any random corner for someone else to come and read or reply to show some unrecognized sympathy to that person.

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Feeling Library, London_©www.dezeen.com

Feelings Library London also provides a similar environment to their visitors with a pop-up installation in the library, designed using a thatched roof and tropical-themed interior intended to give their visitors space to journal and improve mental health. A private place out of the concrete jungle of London’s rushing lifestyle is what the visitors need to be responded to by the library’s design to provide local therapy service, an initiative collaboration made by Self Space to support solutions on mental health. Architecture practice Caukin Studio aimed to transport users out of the hustle and bustle of the city and surrender their feelings to personal cozy places. The installations at the Library premises act as a vessel for everything we want to discard. 

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Feeling Library, London_©www.dezeen.com
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Feeling Library, London_©www.dezeen.com

Along with the healing concerns and aspect of personal space, library buildings are opportunities to collaborate, discuss and co-create living. A green shield from an urban park and an all-lit soiree with friends would instantly change the monumental and secluded form of the library and make it rather subtle. Libraries arranged with the curves of engagement corners and crisp technology can be a high-end hub of knowledge and learning. After contemplating the requirements of healthy social engagement, and Medieval Knowledge in public libraries, we can better transform libraries into public places more than just books. The Public Library can be redefined as an institution no longer exclusively dedicated to the book culture but as an information store for all forms of technologies and flexibilities to be presented equally and legibly. Similarly, the Public Library of Spain, known as Public library and Reading park by Martin Lejarraga Oficina de Arquitectura, is designed with an approach to creating a public plaza as an urban culture and leisure attraction for visitors.

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Public Library and Reading Park, Spain_©www.lejarraga.com
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Public Library and Reading Park, Spain_©www.lejarraga.com
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Public Library and Reading Park, Spain_©www.lejarraga.com

The Public Library of Spain encompasses two functions on one territory by introducing playground and library with true transparency as the designers can. The possibilities of compatibility and space optimization between the building and surrounding areas amalgamate between the library, auditorium, meeting rooms, and urbanized areas (sports court, greenhouse, gardens, playgrounds, swings, etc.) expand the actual use and enjoyment for the visitors. The programmatic placement of functions by the art gallery for exhibitions is gracing public areas in coordination with the green topography of the land.

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Public Library and Reading Park, Spain_©www.lejarraga.com

Public Libraries are not just about grid column bookshelves running long but a space for numerous accidents of serendipitous connections to occur and hold equal personal space for every user of it. It’s high time to design Public Libraries a lot more than a Public building but as an asset for culture, knowledge, and community.

References:
  1. Anon., n.d. Archdaily. [Online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/454619/public-library-and-reading-park-martin-lejarraga [Accessed 03 2022].
  2. Finney, A., 2021. dezeen. [Online] Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2021/12/16/feelings-library-caukin-studio-london-journal-mental-health/ [Accessed 03 2022].
  3. Patel, K., n.d. Rethinking The Future. [Online] Available at: https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/rtf-fresh-perspectives/a1846-redefinition-of-public-library-in-the-digital-age/ [Accessed 03 2022].
  4.       DamiLee. (2022). Hurry sickness is infiltrating our culture.. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuIZuUCKd84&t=13s   [Accessed:23 / 01/ 2022].
Author

Rahat Khanna is an architectural student by profession & a serendipitous explorer by a person. She accompanies architecture and writings as a medium to research, evaluate, analyze and contemplate minute details in architectural reign for sustainably intelligent solutions. Her passion for words came from reading books and made her resourceful.

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