Archinect
Mark Hartenstein

Mark Hartenstein

New Providence, NJ, US

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View from the opposite street corner.
View from the opposite street corner.
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Incremental Urbansim - Lafayette Square

This public library is situated on an angular corner site along the commercial vein of the historic Lafayette Square in St Louis, across the street from Lafayette Park.  To avoid dominating the cityscape, the front facade is broken into three pieces of varying heights and setbacks.

A six-story book wall extends from the lower level up to the top floor, with book shelves accessible on both sides. An electro-luminescent panel system behind the shelves back-lights the books to visually orient the library users to the organization of the wall.  Should physical books be less of a part of the library's future, the EL panel system can still be used for other informational and graphic purposes.

Circulation of the library is achieved through two elevators embedded within the book wall or by spiraling up through the multitude of spaces.  The building's program includes a children's space, community meeting / learning / history rooms, adolescent hangout area, and flexible reading / study spaces.

The library is anchored by a modest corner street-level cafe.  This area is meant to draw people in and truly make the public library a daily community hub, as well as provide a variety of atmospheres within the building.

 
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Status: School Project
Location: Saint Louis, MO, US

 
Satellite view of the Lafayette neighborhood.
Satellite view of the Lafayette neighborhood.
Satellite view of the site.
Satellite view of the site.
Formal structure of the building from site's angles.
Formal structure of the building from site's angles.
Oblique aerial view of conceptual model.
Oblique aerial view of conceptual model.
Straight aerial view of conceptual model.
Straight aerial view of conceptual model.
Section detail of the book wall, EL panel, and shelving unit tracks.
Section detail of the book wall, EL panel, and shelving unit tracks.
Floor plans of all six library levels.
Floor plans of all six library levels.

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