What immediately struck me about this building is its similarity in design the Dancing House Frank Gehry apartment building in Prague. The form, scale and features are very similar. However, that is not the most interesting thing about this building. The Clapham Library was funded though a PPP (private public partnership) with the local council apparently not paying a cent towards the building. It is a library, medical centre and apartment block on the Clapham High Street.
From the World Architecture News website
‘The library forms a major new community use on the high street, it is based around a simple spiral form, providing a seamless curve of learning. The spiral is used to link a variety of uses in the building with the books themselves providing a continuous linear coil around which other spaces are configured.’
The interior of the building is very modern, white and architectural and I am really looking forward to seeing how they use the space and what people make of it. I will also try and get the detail about the PPP and what the deal is with that. Whether it is a lease arrangement (which I am assuming it is in its most basic form) and how much input the library had into the design, knowing that libraries have a raft of ‘special needs’ and how and if that was catered for. I am guessing a handful of compromises were reached during the design process and it will be interesting to find out that they can live without. I am really hoping to find some challenges here that I can bring back and share with NZ libraries. It would great to say ‘they don’t do …. and it is ok.’. Giving things up to move forward can be very challenging for librarians, I hope I am not disappointed. This is going to be a beauty.