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Seattle Public Library

Rem Koolhaas

Daisy Jazmín López Rodríguez A00515582 History and Architecture of the City IV

the research-oriented. S. economic and technological solutions to urbanization. conceptual division of OMA.Rem Koolhaas • Rem Koolhaas. • The award-winning Dutchman is a Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard's Graduate School of Design • Has published a number of books. which focuses on social. became known after he cofounded OMA (The Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in 1975.XL (1995) and Living Vivre Leben (1998). including Delirious New York (1978). one of the world's leading architects and urban theorists. .L. • He also heads AMO.M.

including 33. Carol Patterson) • Location: Seattle. USA • Program: Central library for Seattle’s 28-branch library system. book spiral. Meghan Corwin. staff floor. and auditorium. mixing chamber. children’s collection.700 sqm of hq. and 4. reading room. . meeting platform.600 sqm of parking. Bjarke Ingels. Washington.Description of the Building • Architects: OMA + LMN • (Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus (Partner-in-Charge). living room. Natasha Sandmeier. with Mark von Hof-Zogrotzki.

While both systems exist to ensure the building’s stability. The load-bearing system. . providing bracing during a seismic event. in the form of columns and beams. supports the elevated platforms containing program spaces. they each create different conditions for the support of the curtain wall.Constructive system • In general the structure is composed of both load-bearing and seismic systems. • The seismic structure — I-beam steel arranged in lattice like geometry — connects platform to platform.

sloping in both an overslung (skylight) and underslung (reverse skylight) orientation. As a result.• The predominant mullion system. • The slots provide multiple planes of adjustment. allowing holes connecting steel and aluminum to align. The final design incorporates a diamond module that marries the most efficient use of nonstandard glass panel shapes with adequate steel spanning capacity. became the basis for many design development studies. the engineered mullion system relies on only two connection points per diamond. . this particular system incorporates a thinner overall depth with a thickened aluminum section to allow for greater spanning ability and fewer support connections. • Since it is directly supported on seismic steel.

the exterior envelope is comprised entirely of vision glass. . On the interior however. seismic steel is not needed for structural support. the appearance of both the vertical and sloped mullion systems match. and exposed concrete foundation walls. louvers. Unlike the sloping facades.• A different mullion system had to be developed for the vertical glass facades. the deeper aluminum profile of the vertical mullion body adds sufficient strength to sustain lateral curtain-wall loads between floors. • Except for the roof. • When viewed from the exterior.

While the mullion cap. and glass keep most of the water from entering the system.• To combat increased solar heat gain experienced during the summer months. insulated glazing panels with flexible butyl tape applied along every joint between panels. . and silicone gaskets molded to fit the interior surface of the mullion body. • To waterproof the building in Seattle’s rainy climate. the next two layers channel any remaining moisture to weep holes along the lower edge of each façade. The mesh’s mini-louvers provide shielding of direct sun as well as views to the exterior through the mesh. an aluminum expanded metal mesh interlayer was chosen for the glass panels receiving the most sun. seals. Seele designed three levels of defense into the system: the exterior aluminum mullion cap with premolded silicone gaskets.

the library strangles the very attractions that differentiate it from other information resources . through the collection’s relentless expansion. in this form of flexibility.Formal composition • Programs are not separated. rooms or individual spaces not given unique characters. Ultimately. this means that bookcases define generous (though nondescript) reading areas on opening day. inevitably come to encroach on the public space. In practice. but.

but without the threat of one section hindering the others. and equipped for.• Instead of its current ambiguous flexibility. the library could cultivate a more refined approach by organizing itself into spatial compartments. . each dedicated to. specific duties. Tailored flexibility remains possible within each compartment.

Spatial attributes • Each platform is a programmatic cluster that is architecturally defined and equipped for maximum. dedicated performance. where the interface between the different platforms is organized—spaces for work. . interaction. flexibility. circulation. their size. palette. and MEP vary. structure. and play. • The spaces in between the platforms function as trading floors where librarians inform and stimulate. Because each platform is designed for a unique purpose.

. materials are dissociated from their categories.• In 1920. moved to off-site storage. by 1990 the section had exploded. or become squatters of another. Excess materials are put in the basement. the Seattle Public Library had no classification for Computer Science. totally unrelated department. As collections unpredictably swell.

• The Book Spiral implies a reclamation of the much-compromised Dewey Decimal System. each evolves relative to the others. occupying more or less space on the ribbon. but never forcing a rupture. By arranging the collection in a continuous ribbon— running from 000 to 999—the subjects form a coexistence that approaches the organic. .


Elevations. .

Level 13 .Floor plan.

Floor plan. . Level 7.

in Seattle. August 21.” Boston Globe.Quote… Yet.” Tom Haines. This is clearly illustrated by the somewhat unprecedented containment of all books on a long ascending ramp and the centralization of all resources (digital. “Seattle Still Percolates Behind this Artful Project. Koolhaas has attempted to find a new relationship between the virtual and the actual. 2005 . human and traditional) in a fi fth-level “Mixing Chamber” — “where the chattering of 132 computer keypads adds a modern sound to the coughs and whispers of a library.

" AskMen.archdaily. Web. .com/11651/seattle-central-library-omalmn/> 7 May 2012. <http://www. <http://www. • "Rem 08 May 2012. Web.askmen.References. <http://www. Web." ArchDaily. Architectureweek.html> • "ArchDaily: The World's Most Visited Website for Architects.Detailing the Skin.html> • Seattle Public Library . 08 May 2012.architectureweek.