At the moment when the digital revolution seems about to melt all that is solid – to eliminate all necessity for concentration and physical embodiment, it seems absurd to imagine the ultimate library, although the future will spell not the end of the book, but the period of new equalities. Revulsion abruptly aborted normal design process and brought us to the idea of rethinking the basic function of library as the storage of hard-copy. Since the invention of writing, libraries were the memory of a culture. But, how to avoid nostalgia for the great central reading room and container of forbidden knowledge?

We developed the notion of reading and walking, or walking and reading, as the conceptual organization of the project. In the theoretically endless space, the program can be extended, programmatic elements (tubes) shifted, and framed again within certain routes. This project is about a contextless, imaginative and flexible system which describes the narrative space as dualism between the space of reading and the reading of space… the thus occurring cybrid condition does not generate space but a cybrid space can be generated through certain overlaid logics. Spaces which are, for example, non-hierarchical, nomadic or unstable; dynamic spaces describe juxtapositions of the real and the non real – the notion of displacement.

The link between analogue and digital fields concerning the relationship between architecture and virtual media demands new functional and typological concepts: our concept of the library revolves around movement – of people, of ideas, of information. Spaces in-between, “media cloths” as projection surfaces for cutting-edge information technology and hardware, defined only by walkways. This library is not located in a particular place – as an important and positive factor. Its very eccentricity allows it to break away from any static concept.  Therefore the concept of the “reading route”, in which the endless pursuit of knowledge is supplemented by the pleasure of physical effort.

Credits | Design Team: Ivan Redi, Martin Frühwirth (shown at La Biennale di Venezia 2000)