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Edenvale Public Library
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The new site was between the old Library and the Civic Centre. These two buildings did not make easy neighbours and neither did the parking lot of Checkers across the street. The site was further complicated in that access from parking areas in both 10th Avenue and van Riebeeck Avenue was required.

The Library is planned as a microcosm of its urban context. The building is arranged as a series of Basilicas alongside tone another creating a larger order of Basilica. They are orientated along a north south axis like the retail strip and its neighbouring residential areas and are separated by the connecting side aisles as circulation routes like the one way roads. The centre basilica is pulled forward to create the entrance off the interlocking urban squares formed between the Civic Centre and the Library. The Auditorium, a facility shared by the Civic Centre and the Library, is twisted off axis and used to partially enclose these two interlocking squares. Thus the entrance to all these buildings is enhanced and the duality of the split parking areas is resolved without compromising the formal entry off van Riebeeck Avenue.

The three basilicas house the major public areas of the Library on three levels. The entrance is located on the centre level. The lower floor accommodates the lending library. The specific an community related aspects occur in the centre wing and the west wing is for non-fiction. The fiction section is located in a double volume wing in the eastern wing, which is overlooked by the Children’s Library that occupies the two western wings on the entrance level. The children’s library is in turn overlooked by the reference library on the first floor. The centre-vaulted aisles are used for primary circulation and the outer aisles for reading areas and study carrels. The office areas are located on the north wing with convenient and simple access to each level. The simple device of using the natural site levels and the creation of the double volumes through overlapping the floors unifies and integrates the floors.

Daylight was a major consideration in the planning, for instance the reference library is located at the top because here it could receive more light. The main activity of the selection of books occurs in a light and airy space where the books are displayed in their best light. In contrast, warm and intimate reading spaces have been provided. These also have good light, but have restricted views and patches of sun and shade so that the reader could choose to site with a shaft of sunlight on his/her back or in a cool shadow. The building has many moods as the sun patch changes and is filtered by the clouds.

The harmful effect of the ultra violet light on the books and the east west orientation of the windows have been resolved through protecting the large glazed openings with a free standing civic scaled brick arched screen for shading and providing large overlap to the roof which shades the north and south facades. Layered brickwork has been used to fill in the large arched openings to reduce direct sunlight and to contrast with the concrete structure on the outside.

The strong bold colours used internally enhance the warm feeling and give the light life. The use of colour is however restricted in order that it does not overpower. Complimentary colours are used in much the same way as contrasting textures.

A maintenance free structure of concrete and facebrick has been used. Off-shutter concrete was chosen as the major building finish because of its ability to reflect the light. The concrete itself is usually perceived to be cold and brutal. Therefore it is complimented with the light oak lining, oak bookshelves and furniture, to contrast the smooth hard surface of the concrete with the smooth soft surface of the timber with a rough texture and to add warmth to the Lawley Pinto brick which was used. The brick also blends in well with the existing brick clad Council buildings.

The basilica spaces and the side aisles were conceived and have been made as positive spatial elements arranged together so that each room is identifiable as a "thing", an object. The spaces have been arranged as a series of rooms like in a house.

The connection between public rooms in a public building and "house" is made manifest in the use of the simple pitched metal roofs so common in the area, which are used over each "room". Here though the truss disappears and a portal frame is used to create a soaring architecture of high volumes.

The volumes and indeed the whole building are derived from a rational process of proportioning based on the harmonic proportions of the golden section. The relationship of length, width and height of rooms, of solid and void, openings, of shutter panels and of ferrule holes, of part to whole and of part to part has wherever possible been related to the ratio of 1:1.618 and regulated on the diagonal of that rectangle. While classically proportioned, the building is clearly a modern and not a copy of a Renaissance Pallazo, but its classical roots strike a chord with the general public.

The building is as much a temple as church, a response to the house of books as in the "House of God". The books are revered by being placed in high well-lit volumes. One is always aware of the light but not necessarily of its source. The ancient aedicule of temple and basilica are combined in a trinity of overlapping spaces on each level creating a dynamism within the harmony of the classically proportioned spaces.

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