Archinect
Javier Benavides

Javier Benavides

Los Angeles, CA, US

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Regent's Library - Urban Axonometric
Regent's Library - Urban Axonometric
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Thesis: Crossing the Line

https://www.javibeolys.com/kin...

The Regent’s Library is a cultural nexus situated at the heart of King’s Cross. Being one of London’s most historically relevant infrastructural sites, Kings Cross hosts a number of 19th Century landmarks, including the iconic St. Pancras and Kings Cross train stations, as well as the recently renovated granary building; which now hosts the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. The project inscribes itself into the urban landscape by operating as an extension of an infrastructural network as well as an anchor for an academic campus, interfacing cultural, institutional and infrastructural functions to augment its neighboring buildings. The library’s typology echoes the presence of its lineage by retracing the position of the royal gas holders, defined by three intersecting circles. It appropriates the historic structure’s scale and geometry as a scaffolding for a new cultural center.

The project is organized by combining distinct building types, overlapping their forms to promote a sense of diffusion between programs. The complex operates less as a static planning device and more as an ecology, where the threshold between architecture and infrastructure, interior and exterior, part and whole becomes obscured. The project rejects the treatment of the whole as either a smooth continuum or a discrete collection. It refrains from slicing a mass into neat compartments where functions obediently reside within a single roof or dividing the complex into an aggregation of discrete buildings. Rather, the Regent’s Library aims to invigorate the site’s urban potential by interrogating the boundaries of each function, allowing their jurisdictions to permeate one another. Rather than homogenizing the program to produce an explicit whole, the project celebrates difference and contradiction to produce unanticipated effects of continuity and fragmentation through causality. As is in symbiosis, drawing the line between one part and another becomes increasingly difficult, yet it is this very tension between distinct objects that hints at a model for coexistence between different disciplines and fields of expertise.

The Library is entangled with the site’s infrastructural lines, slithering through the landscape to shape the different elements that build up its mass. A commercial building bordering Regent’s Canal frames a matte production facility, which acts as a pedestal for the Regent’s library. The site’s iconic orange line carves the library to shape its three major access points, connecting organizing access points with the public promenade. A cross bridge intersects study room, an exterior staircase breaks up the building’s skin, a spiraling bookcase that frames a central atrium. These three circulation objects connect Regent’s library to the lines that shape King’s Cross, forming a promenade that navigates through the site’s iconic buildings towards a public terrace atop the library. The stepped roofscape acts as a performance space that gazes back at the center of London and the site’s major landmarks, setting up a dialogue between the architectural objects that construct King’s Cross.

 
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Status: School Project
Location: King's Cross, London
My Role: Design, Visualization, Model fabrication
Additional Credits: Thesis Partner: Erik Valle
Thesis Advisors: Peter Testa & Devyn Weiser

 
Regent's Library_1:200 Physical Model
Regent's Library_1:200 Physical Model
Crossing the Line: Urban Vision
Crossing the Line: Urban Vision
Regent's Library_Morphology: The Tension Field
Regent's Library_Morphology: The Tension Field
Regent's Library - Section/Elevation Collage
Regent's Library - Section/Elevation Collage
Regent's Library - Nexus Atrium Perspective
Regent's Library - Nexus Atrium Perspective
Regent's Library - Section
Regent's Library - Section
Regent's Library - 1:100 Nexus Circulation Physical Model
Regent's Library - 1:100 Nexus Circulation Physical Model
Regent's Library - Elevation
Regent's Library - Elevation
Regent's Library - 1:200 Facade Circulation Physical Model
Regent's Library - 1:200 Facade Circulation Physical Model
Crossing the Line - Program
Crossing the Line - Program
Regent's Library_1:200 Physical Model
Regent's Library_1:200 Physical Model
Regent's Library - Ground Floor
Regent's Library - Ground Floor
Regent's Library - Floor Plan #2
Regent's Library - Floor Plan #2
Regent's Library - Floor Plan #3
Regent's Library - Floor Plan #3
Regent's Library - Floor Plan #4
Regent's Library - Floor Plan #4
Regent's Library_Morphology: The Tension Field
Regent's Library_Morphology: The Tension Field
Regent's Library_Morphology: Floor Plan Multiplane
Regent's Library_Morphology: Floor Plan Multiplane
Study Model
Study Model
Study Model
Study Model
Planning strategy for the King's Cross Redevelopment