Competition Entry Imagines Dynamic Library Design for London’s Hyde Park

Competition Entry Imagines Dynamic Library Design for London's Hyde Park, Courtesy of Michel Kozman
Courtesy of Michel Kozman

Michel Kozman has imagined a light-filled library for Hyde Park as part of the Archasm Hyde Park Library Competition that ran earlier this year. The competition, which attracted 378 registrations, called for “a stimulating and exciting approach towards the design of a library at Hyde Park.” The brief requested consideration be given to modern forms of media, including audiovisual and digital technologies, challenge the traditional library typology and become a zone within the park for knowledge exchange and gathering.

Courtesy of Michel KozmanCourtesy of Michel KozmanCourtesy of Michel KozmanCourtesy of Michel Kozman+ 19

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Courtesy of Michel Kozman

Courtesy of Michel Kozman
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Kozman’s design entry was drawn from the park, for the park. Located on the lake edge, the building attempts to solidify the moment where water is disturbed and ripples outwards, resulting in a kind of rolling, droplet-shaped object. The form is then pulled, so it is leaning over its entrance. This formal condition is extended into the landscape, with an outdoor amphitheater curling up from the ground like a lip.

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Courtesy of Michel Kozman

Courtesy of Michel Kozman

The building’s skin would appear woven and the space frame construction left exposed, creating a dappled, patterned light, denser where the heat gain is less desired and responding to its leafy context.

The library sinks inwards over four floors to an internal courtyard, and stainless steel panels are used internally to capitalize on reflections of the park surrounding. This would create an immersive experience, bringing the outside in and the inside out. The columns holding up the structure fluctuate in width and twist like tree trunks while the floor plates wave around the edges to create double-height alcoves below.

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This dynamic scheme would be an interesting addition to London’s largest royal park. It is a unique design, full of light and air and would no doubt offer a place of respite on the city’s colder days.

New via: Michel Kozman.

Solar Squared: A Glass Block That Generates Electricity

Solar Squared: A Glass Block That Generates Electricity, © Build Solar
© Build Solar

Renewable energy experts from the University of Exeter in England have developed a glass block with built-in solar cells. The idea is that with the spread of technology, it is possible to build a house or a whole building’s facade using blocks that generate energy.

The product has been named Solar Squared, tests done at the university have shown that they guarantee thermal insulation and allow natural light to enter the building.

It is estimated that buildings consume more than 40% of the electricity produced worldwide, this technology would allow the production of electricity at the site of use. Researchers guarantee that another advantage is that the new solar blocks can be used in new projects or in residential remodeling.

The Exeter team has created a startup company, The Build Solar, to better develop the product. The company is now seeking investors to bring into the market in 2018.

Dr. Hasan Baig, founder of Build Solar and a researcher at the Institute for Environment andSustainability at the University of Exeter, explains in an article on the university website that the blocks invented by the group have better thermal insulation than traditional glass blocks, besides supplyingenergy to the building.

“It is now clear that the world is moving towards a distributed energy system, of which an increasing proportion is renewable. This, along with switching to electric vehicles, means that there are substantial opportunities for new ways of generating electricity at the point of use” says co-inventor Jim Williams in the same document released by the university.

News via: Gazeta do Povo – HAUS

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