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2007 – Unbuilt Dublin – Dun Laoghaire Library

Architect: Arkitema

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Every page of a book tells a story. New realities arise out of the paper. As the starting-point of our design, we have chosen the principal content of a library: books and their many paper pages. We have concretised the idea of the book in the principal architectural motif, which rests like an elegantly curving page across Dun Laoghaire Library. On the upper side of the page lies a park area, while its underside functions as an organically-shaped roof construction which provides plenty of light from above and creates dynamic and dramatic spatial formations in the interior. Two corners of the ‘page’ are lifted, revealing the entrance areas.

The page is not just a symbol of the building’s content, but also functions as a green carpet: a gently undulating park, where people can relax on the grass amid peaceful verdant surroundings which contrast with the nearby urban context. The ground floor is the library’s most public area. Access to the library and cultural centre is via a ramp system from the three-storey-tall main entrance. Our project creates room for both physical relaxation in the park, concentrated study in the library, and vibrant debate in the cultural centre.