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  • Stay on the Ground – Let your Mind Rise

    Architectural Contest for Athenaeum, Philadelphia, 2014, 3rd prize

    Concept and text: Dániel Palotai


    Libraries of the future would have to fulfil variable needs of locals offering indoor and outdoor spaces to education, recreation and community projects. These institutions would connect everyday life activities as a place between home and work, especially in the case of Athenaeum situated on the border of residential and business areas. The architectural library of Athenaeum as an emphasized building “a pride and ornament” of the built environment would have to function smartly and sustainably focusing on variable spaces supplemented by new storage and operation methods.
    The concept aims to reinterpret library function a new conceptual approach by repositioning the three main elements of the proposal. The library storage is bursting skyward, symbolizing the value of knowledge, managed by automated movement system controlled by visitor’s requests. The vital public square on the ground floor functions as an outdoor library space and connects neighbouring residential areas to the Washington Square Park. The multifunctional interior of the Athenaeum is lowered in the ground, separated by atriums and sliding doors, provides human scaled intimate space for reading.