Year 2, St Andrews Library Project: The Living Library
I'm Ashleigh and I'm in 2nd year.
For our final project we were given the task of designing a library in St Andrews. As this was the first year of the course being entirely online due to the pandemic I wanted to incorporate the experience of that into my work. Many of us will have had our mental health impacted in some way due to everything online, the multiple lockdowns and the sense of feeling alone. My library focuses on these emotions and is designed in a way to help with this.
Mental health in students was the key factor for me. I did a lot of research into what can help with mental health. The idea of using a lot of greenery in my design came quite early on. Not only does it have its environmental benefits, it also has a big impact on mental health as studies show people who are surrounded by nature and greenery are more positive and have a higher level of health and wellbeing. I created many green areas in my design, from a green roof to a green living wall both interior and exterior. Social interaction was another aspect in which I looked into. We can all agree that from being online for so long with little face to face interaction the first time meeting a group in person felt surreal. My library has both solo and group study spaces. Even if you're studying on your own, the feeling of having a friend at the same table is nice. From large study tables inside and outside there is plenty of places for friends and university peers to take part in group studies. Upon the completion of my design, I still had a lot of the site left to use. I decided to create another social space that also had a clear connection to nature. I created a community garden which both students and locals can use. Not only does this have a social connection, it can also spark an interest in a new hobby as well as growth of vegetation.
Throughout the year I used Photoshop more than I have ever done before. This improved my skills using this software and allowed me to create my final images. I did these in both a realistic as well as cartoon format. I enjoyed using bright colours as I wanted my building to be associated with happiness and to look inviting. Overall I am very happy with my work in this project as I believe I have created a building which had mental health as a key factor in its design.
North and West Elevations
I created my elevations on photoshop with an almost cartoon feel to them. I enjoyed using bright colours as I feel this males the design look inviting and will interest you to take a closer look. The two main materials I used on my design were sandstone and timber which helps the building from looking flat and dull if I had just used one.
Interior Views of the main library space
This is the hearth of the library as this is were the books are kept. It is a place of both solo and group study. From the multiple windows to the skylight, it is a bright open space that allows views facing south to the existing library and north to the sea. The use of green from the living wall to the multiple plants placed allows for a sense of nature which will help the students mental health.
Outdoor study and seating area
I created this outdoor space to allow for outdoor studying on a nice day as well as place to meet friends and interact with each other. The glass canopy allows for shelter on the cold and wet days but also creates a beautiful shadow when the light hits it.
Main entrance into the library
This is the first place students will see when the enter the library. I wanted to create a bright open space that welcomed people in. This is the first time people will see the interior green wall which will give them a sense of nature.
Views of community garden and social outdoor space
The image on the bottom left is the view from the main entrance into the library. It gives you views of the existing buildings and the social area to the left. The trees create a bit of privacy to the outdoor social area as well as guiding you to the front door. The two views of the community garden gives you a sense of community. To see people interact and work together to plant new life is almost comforting.
Views seen from the green roof
I have created balcony space for both the students as well as the academic residence on their own private balcony. The views of St Andrews are too nice to not have the chance to see it from 3 floors up. Around the perimeter I have create a semi intensive garden space to allow vegetation to grow.
Meeting Room and Private Study space
The meeting room is a large space for up to 25 people. It can be used as a lecture room as well. I decided to continue the timber from the exterior into the interior wall as this allowed the room to be more exciting rather than a basic room with 4 white walls. The private study room also seats up to 12 people with views facing both North and South. The trees outside the building block in some of the exterior views but also connect you to nature from the inside.
My floor plans are quite symmetrical. I was encouraged to create 3 sections of spaces from service, private and social. The service spaces are to the left, the private to the right with the social in the middle. On the 3rd floor on the right hand side we can see the academic residence which is very much in its own space and private from the rest of the library.
Site plan showing views of garden space and social areas
From this view we can see areas such as the community garden and the social bench spaces in better detail. The community garden is actually quite large which will allows lots of people to participate. The social space also has space for 18 benches both under shelter and not. This allows the chance for everyone to have a seat if they wish. We can also see the roof from a better angle. I have created skylights both in the centre to allow light into the reading room. I have also created skylights on the left and right which lead down into the fire stairs. This again allows more natural light in.