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Gateway to the forest. The award-winning project of the academic library of the future

05 of July '22

Canada's Arc Ace magazine held a contest called 2030 Academic Library, and the task was to design a library with electronic resources that would become an academic learning center. The contest was open to both professionals and students - nearly a hundred entries were submitted from all over the world, and {tag:studenci} from the Faculty of Architecture at Wroclaw University of Technology also submitted her project called The Web. Her concept, which is also a master's thesis done under the direction of Dr. Tomasz Myczkowski, received the third prize!

library of the future, or what kind of library?

The challenge of the competition, in addition to designing the library, was to appropriately locate it on the grounds of Capilano University in North Vancouver. This is a university that is famous for its beautiful green areas covered with tall vegetation, for this participants, in addition to proposing study spaces inside the building, were also to provide such outdoor spaces.

Biblioteka otoczona jest lasem

The library is surrounded by forest

© Magdalena Ambroszko

According to the organizers of the competition, the proposed Library 2030 is to respond to the various needs of male and female students, it must meet climate challenges, and it should represent exemplary solutions that will be readily used in the future. The facility should adapt to users, encourage them to spend time on its premises, to learn, but also to relax.

connection with nature

The main idea of my library design is to connect man with nature. Due to the characteristic surroundings of the university, namely areas covered with tall trees, I decided to expose them in the designed building as well. I decided to preserve as many trees as possible located on the plot of land indicated by the organizers. The designed library is supposed to give the impression of an object that has grown into the forest, become a part of it, and the students, while staying inside, should still feel the magic of the forest," says Magdalena Ambroszko.

Projekt The Web, zagospodarowanie terenu Projekt The Web, struktura

the building has a simple form

© Magdalena Ambroszko

To achieve this, the author decided on a simple form for the building, which will blend harmoniously with nature. As the architect says, she searched for all sorts of analogies and systems found in nature that would allow her to create a connection between the environment and the building, and as a result referred to the form as the web.

The Web

The Web for the building has two meanings - it is a structure that refers to a spider's web, visually giving the impression of an element interwoven between trees, and it is also a system of web pages accessible via the Internet, which alludes to the electronic resources of a library. The web thus became the material that surrounded the entire building. This is also where the name of the project The Web came from," explains the designer.

Część budynku została umieszczona na słupach

Part of the building was placed on poles

© Magdalena Ambroszko

An important aspect of the project was also the use of ecological solutions. To this end, the author covered the entire façade with perovskites, which produce electricity, and used an extensive green roof. Part of the facade is made up of white cables located at the main entrance and terraces, which visually unites the wooden structure with the facade. The designer also decided to limit interference with the ground, so part of the building was placed on poles. The glulam construction reduces carbon emissions.

gateway to the forest

The proposed building has become a kind of gateway to the forest. Users can enter the library or simply pass it and stop in the beautiful green surroundings. To this end, I introduced spacious arcades, which included terraces and forest stands. The entire building was designed to always provide views of the surrounding nature," adds Magdalena Ambroszko.

Przestrzeń do nauki

Learning space, the author preserved the trees growing on the plot

© Magdalena Ambroszko

The trees on the plot have also become part of the library. They run through two floors, connecting the building with nature. Users, walk along the corridors of the building, resembling forest paths. The interior is dominated by two materials - wood and ropes, which act as a network that arranges the space, dividing it into smaller ones and providing privacy.

Konstrukcja biblioteki została wykonana z drewna klejonego i linek

The structure of the library was made of glued wood and ropes

© Magdalena Ambroszko

learning zones and auditorium in the forest

In addition to a representative atrium running through three floors, the building also features open spaces where male and female students can spend time together and relax. The building has been divided taking into account the volume of each space. The top two floors have been designed as study zones.

Rzuty biblioteki

library floor plans

© Magdalena Ambroszko

The third floor is an open learning zone, while the fourth floor is already a space with workstations for individual work and with dedicated rooms for group work. A unique space is the auditorium, which has been extended into the forest - nature surrounds it on three sides.

Audytorium otoczone jest lasem

The auditorium is surrounded by forest

© Magdalena Ambroszko

The library's mission is to encourage students to study outdoors, observe and admire the beauty of nature. Direct contact with the forest has a great impact on the well-being of every person, allows you to calm down and reduce stress levels. Communing with nature also positively influences creativity and provides better conditions for concentrated work," Magdalena Ambroszko concluded.

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