a pause to recall the thought process
A casual reference to Lewis Carroll’s
looking glass brings about the rereading of two classics:
Alice in Wonderland and Through
the Looking Glass. A
potentially negligible afternoon of reading sets the tone for what is to
become. These novels awaken
that lost or ignored ability for make-believe and for taking time to be
less serious. Alice found
what she wasn’t sure existed, but for a time, and a needed
moment, it did. She led us
through a mirror to a place of inverse writing and to a world stretching
beyond the one it reflected into the thoughts of
a child - or potentially the thoughts of anyone’s imagination.
This did not resolve the building type, nor programmatic
requirements. However, it
found that needed reference point should things tend to go astray…
Going astray: A confused aside into
keyword searches ranging from retreat, media center, follies,
scriptorium, and virtual reality followed.
‘Scriptorium’ came out of a thought to return to the romantic
origins of writing and reading; ‘media center’ came from the
pollution of knowing standard thesis topics. Potentially, the project was even to become merely a
mindscape in a virtual reality format, or a folly - neither accessible,
nor needed, just an expression. Thankfully,
that reference point recalled the need for a realistic and usable space.
This space is to satisfy and validate that need to get away.
A theme of fiction, and obviously books,
should have immediately tended towards ‘library’.
This final transition was slow in coming.
A love for reading, but a strong discomfort about the library
barred this natural progression. To
read a book, regardless if fictional, without stopping to reread
something aloud, adopting a described accent, finding the proper meter
of a poem - externalizing the rhythm and physically experiencing the
rhyme, is not reading. The
library condemns these actions and consequently seems to restrict
natural thought processes. The
quietude is tension, the organization is monotony, the effect is
unbearable. This can be
excused by the library-sympathizer as an over-exaggeration, but these
feelings are real and a challenge was seen.
The challenge: to enjoy literature in a free environment, as it was intended; to adopt the familiar term of library, but to create an alternative - an escape cast under the guise of a recognizable building type.