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One of the most interesting projects Ive seen in a while, the Musashino Art University Museum & Library

proposes a new relation between the


user and the books, surrounded and sheltered by them. We had the chance to ask Sou Fujimoto about the challenge of designing this program in
the information age, as you can see on the above video.

More info after the break:

This project is a new library for a highly distinguished art universities in Japan. It involves designing a new library building and refurbishing the
existing building into an art gallery, which will ultimately create a new integration of the Library and the Art Gallery. The project described
hereinafter is the plan of the new library which sits within the first phase of the total development.

Acting as a huge ark, a total of 200,000 units, of which 100,000 will be in an open-archive, while the other half, within a closed-archive, rests within
this double-storey library of 6,500 in floor area. It is a library made from bookshelves.

When I thought of the elements which compose an ultimate library, I imagined books, bookshelves, light and the atmosphere. I imagined a place
encircled by a single bookshelf in the form of a spiral. The domain encased within the infinite spiral itself is the library. An infinite forest of books is
created from the layering of 9m high walls, punctuated by large apertures. This spiral sequence of the bookshelf continues, eventually wrapping
the periphery of the site as the external wall to allow the external appearance of the building to share the same elemental composition of the
bookshelf as the library.
Concept
Ones encounter with the colossally long bookshelf, within the university landscape, registers instantaneously as a library, yet astonishing in its
dreamlike simplicity. It is the library most library-like and the simplest library.

Cite:Basulto , David . "Musashino Art University Museum & Library / Sou Fujimoto" 28 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 Sep 2012.
http://www.archdaily.com/145789

Library Of The Present: Communal Information In Physical


Space
06 AUG2011

by Jesse Ganes
Articles Educational Museums and Libraries Library

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Iwan Baan
The Internet is now the library of the past. Where the public library has historically served as the primary source of information gathering and
dissemination, we now look to this new virtual, infinitely large library that can be accessed anywhere at any time as the Library of the present.

As a result, the primary roles of todays physical libraries have shifted. Libraries of the past focused primarily on individualized information
consumption. Communal aspects of interaction and information dissemination now represent the core mission of the library when information is
more easily accessible. The silent grand beaux-arts reading rooms of New York or Boston have of the past been transformed into flexible
communal living rooms in Seattle.
www.flickr.com / Thomas Claveirole
www.flickr.com / Fernando Herrera

Community Driving Design


This new purpose is deeply considered in library design today. Recent library designs such as Tama Art University Library (Toyo Ito), Musashino
Art University Museum & Library (Sou Fujimoto), and Steven Holls planned Queens Library at Hunterspoint all aim to provide spaces of communal
interaction that would bring the patrons of each library together in different ways.
Iwan Baan
The snake-like tables of Itos Tama Art University Library coupled with its panoramic open views to the exterior go a long way in fostering a
community atmosphere extends into the library from the surrounding campus. The forest-like arches that support the building and divide interior
space create a spectrum of individual and communal spaces based on their density. The low curvilinear bookshelves on the second floor are
placed not to optimize the number of books stored but rather to create corridors of varying width that allow for the insertion of communal sitting
areas within the stacks.
Iwan Baan
Daici Ano
People Products

Owner: Structural system


Musashino Art University Steel frame, partly reinforced concrete

Architect: Exterior cladding


Sou Fujimoto Architects Major materials: timber shelf, glass, exterior; wood shelf, tile carpet,
10-3,Higashienoki-cho, Ichikawa Seihon building 6F polycarbonate panel ceiling, interior
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0807, Japan
T: +81(0)3-3513-5401 Wood:
F: +81(0)3-3513-5402 All Timber work by ARLISS Co.,Ltd.

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit: Curtain wall:
Sou Fujimoto Architects-- principal-in-charge; Sou Fujimoto Curtain wall by Showa Lead Fu Co.,Ltd.

Project Team: Koji Aoki, Naganobu Matsumura, Shintaro Homma, Roofing


Tomoko Kosami, Takahiro Hata, Elastomeric:
Yoshihiro Nakazono, Masaki Iwata DRY PROCESS ROOF HEAT INSULATING WATER PROOFING
(SANTAC Waterproofing system IB-NB system / Hayakawa Rubber
Architect of record: Co.,Ltd.)
Sou Fujimoto Architects (Sou Fujimoto) (HEAT INSULATING PANEL T35
+SHEET WATERPROOFING T1.5)
Interior designer:
Sou Fujimoto Architects Skylight:
Custom skylight Tokteck Co.,Ltd.
Engineer(s):
Structural Engineers: Jun Sato Structural Engineers--Jun Sato, Windows
Masayuki Takada All Aluminium Sash byFUJISASH Co.,Ltd

MEP: Kankyo Engineering--Takafumi Wada, Kazunari Ohishima, Interior finishes


Hiroshi Takayama Raised flooring:
DRY PROCESS DOUBLE FLOOR H250 (Barrier-less Floor system /
Consultant(s): KIRII Co.,Ltd.)
Adviser: Eishi Katsura (SUPPORTING LEG+PARTICLE BOARD T20)

Lighting: Furnishings
Sirius Lighting Office--Hirohito Totsune, Koichi Tanaka, lighting Signage and Furniture Design: Taku Satoh Design Office

Other: Signage and Furniture Fabrication: INOUE-INDUSTRIES


Signage: Taku Satoh Design Office--Taku Satoh, Shingo Noma,
Kuniaki Demura

Furniture: Inoue Industries--Takafumi Inoue, Azusa Jin, Yosuke


Goto, Hideki Yamazaki

General contractor:
Taisei Corporation--Tsukasa Sakata

Photographer(s):
Daici Ano
ano@fwdinc.jp
080.5675.8975

In Sou Fujimotos Musashino Art University Museum & Library, community space exists interstitial to the bookshelves of the library. The wrapping
bookshelf-walls exist in a spiraling fashion where information is accessed from them and then brought into the voids created by them to be shared,
absorbed, and disseminated with others. Voids within the walls allow one to view into the center of the library and see the way in which media is
being accessed and shared.
Sou Fujimoto
Steven Holl
Section is the primary factor in demarcating communal space in Steven Holls proposedQueens Library at Hunterspoint. The stepped stacks and
reading areas that exist within the main volume of the building overlook both the Manhattan skyline across the east river and a central entry area
that contains the primary gathering area. Holl sees the building as being pourous in its relationship to Manhattan and in the way in which it exists in
relationship to the community.
Steven Holl
References: Wikipedia, Tama Art University Library, Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Queens Library at Hunters Point

Photographs: Iwan Baan, Flickr: Thomas Claveirole, Flickr: Fernando Herrera, Daici Ano, Sou Fujimoto, Steven Holl

Tama Art University Library / Toyo Ito by Iwan Baan


21 MAY2009

Museums and Libraries SelectedIwan Baan Japan Tokyo Toyo Ito

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Once again, Iwan Baan shared with us another impresive photoset. This time, we are presenting the Tama Art University Library in Tokyo, Japan,
by Toyo Ito.
Cite:Saieh , Nico . "Tama Art University Library / Toyo Ito by Iwan Baan" 21 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 Sep 2012. <http://www.archdaily.com/22711>
Musashino Art University Museum & Library

Sou Fujimoto
Tokyo, Japan

Lined with towering bookshelf walls whose


empty shelves represent the librarys potential as
a place to use and house books for years to
come an integrated cascading stair and series
of stepped shelves serve as a connection
between the two main levels and provide plenty
of room for students to sit or recline as they
read, sketch, or catch up on text messages and
e-mail.
Openings in the spiraling bookshelf wall create views within views and a sense of depth. Designed by graphic designer Taku Satoh, supersize white numerals
affixed to the shelves identify different subject categories and help orient library users.
Low bookcases and seating areas delineate space amid the continuum of bookshelf walls. Overhead, playful hanging lamps complement the daylight that filters
down from the strips of skylights.
Musashino Art University Museum & Library

Sou Fujimoto
Tokyo, Japan

At the front of the librarys second level, a web of catwalks replaces the floor. Each one is lined with counter-like workstations equipped with computers and task
lights.

Photo Iwan Baa


Designed by Taku Satoh, a gently curved reference desk receives ample daylight beneath the expansive skylight on the second floor. A cluster of pendant fixtures
above it identifies the desk from across the room.
A second-level terrace connects the new library and the existing soon-to-be-museum structure. An opening in its wall provides views of the old building.

Musashino Art University Museum & Library


Sou Fujimoto
Tokyo, Japan

By Naomi R. Pollock, AIA


Architectural record

Built in 1962, Musashino Art Universitys combined gallery-library is one of the schools treasured original buildings. Designed by architect
Yoshinobu Ashihara, the Modernist concrete edifice occupies a prominent position amid the schools 27-acre campus, a checkerboard of solids
and voids 25 miles west of central Tokyo. But even treasured architectural gems have a shelf life. And after 40-plus years, the building had
become cramped and outdated.

Dividing the gallery-librarys program in two, the school administration decided to turn the historic building into a museum and erect a new library
on the adjacent site. It then held an invited competition for the dual commission. Sou Fujimoto trumped the five other contenders and wowed the
jury with a single, spiral-shaped bookshelf encased in a glass box. Evoking the atmosphere of a traditional reading room, this geometry resolved
the two conflicting goals common to many libraries. While the labyrinthine paths between book-lined walls inspire the unguided exploration of the
librarys sizable collection, the radial organization system cutting through the shelves enables the beeline search for a specific book.

Abutting the existing building, whose renovation will finish this spring, the new, 69,000-square-foot library fills what was one of the only open plots
left on the now-congested campus. Though the site is surrounded by a variety of academic buildings and the main cafeteria, it had few constraints,
since many of these older structures are slated for redevelopment in the near future. The broad pedestrian thoroughfare to the north, lined with
flowering cherry trees, was the logical place to enter the building and start the spiral wall.

Composed of wooden bookshelves enclosed with glass, the spiral begins as a freestanding, 28-foot-high wall that rings the building perimeter and
then curls in to define concentric layers of space inside. Visible from multiple directions on the campus, this wall immediately identifies the
buildings function as a place of books. Students enter through a large opening in the wall into a small vestibule that serves as the three-story
librarys primary entrance. Nestled between the new and existing buildings, exterior stairs ascend to the second floor, where an ancillary entrance
connects the two structures and leads to a covered terrace at the rear of the library.

Back at grade, the tunnel-like vestibule opens onto a dramatic, double-height periodicals section followed by a circulation desk, rare book room,
catalogue gallery, and offices on the ground floor. While private study carrels line one wall, rooms for meetings, research, and exhibits separate
the secured book-storage area. Upstairs, a reading room and open stacks fill almost the entire upper floor. Additional shelving and storage occupy
the basement. With room for 300,000 volumes, the new facility has over twice the capacity of the old library.

The whole space is continuous but on two levels, says Fujimoto of the librarys main floors. In the spirit of a fantastic Piranesi etching, the
architect blurred the boundary between upper and lower levels with tiers of stepped shelves big enough for sitting, vast void spaces puncturing the
second floor, and a web of narrow catwalks winding their way among the colossal shelves. And while a run of gentle risers graciously leads up to
the reading room, elevators and enclosed staircases offer alternate routes at either end of the building.
Though the enclosed programmatic elements partially obscure the spiral downstairs, it is clearly legible upstairs, where the floor-to-ceiling
bookshelf winds repeatedly around the reference desk in the middle of the room.

Between the spirals 16-foot-high shelves, furniture and lighting designate functional zones. Carefully positioned for easy access, low bookcases
fill the layered rings of space, while communal tables, individual desks, computer-lined counters, and select designer chairs from the schools
substantial collection clearly define seating and study areas.

The lighting scheme also helps orient library users as they navigate the mazelike space. Rows of task lights dot the balconies, and a cluster of
pendant fixtures hovers above the reference desk. It is like walking through a forest, explains Fujimoto. Bright lights invite you to go here or
there. During the day, sunshine boosts the installed ambient light, gently illuminating the entire room.

In addition to expansive picture windows, skylights interspersed with opaque panels stripe the roof and fill the room with muted rays. Directly
beneath, a dropped ceiling made with double panels of polycarbonate honeycomb disguises the overhead ducts and beams while diffusing the
daylight from above. Mirroring the shelves below, the surface of the glossy panels reflects the rows of books, making them appear to go on forever.

Cutting across the three-foot-thick bookshelf walls are sequences of rectangular openings of varying proportions and sizes, each one determined
by multiple model studies. They alleviate the concentric geometry, framing views within views and creating a sense of depth in the space. At the
same time, these breaks in the walls facilitate the librarys book classification system. Physically, this system is manifest with wedge-shaped
sections that radiate out from the reference desk. These sections correspond to different numbered subject categories. White, plastic supersize
graphics affixed laterally to the shelves identify each section.

Made of lightly stained, laminated basswood, the double-loaded interior shelves straddle the line between architecture and furniture. Their
partitions and backing boards conceal and are pinned to the librarys steel structure: a rigid frame system of beams and oblong columns
supporting a fire-rated substrate. The columns are really more like small braces, explains Fujimoto. Due to the walls quirky shape and irregularly
spaced openings, the columns could not stand in grid formation. But the voluminous bookcase wall provided plenty of room for alternative
positioning, and extra beams ensured stability.

At the buildings exterior, the shelves are stained dark brown and have been chemically treated for fire protection. Moreover, along with concealing
the insulation, these shelves hide the steel hardware that secures the exterior glazing. Though the 3-foot-square panes appear to float in front of
the wood cases, square metal fasteners affix the 0.3-inch-thick glass sheets together and anchor them to the buildings structural frame.

Beyond reinvigorating Musashino Art Universitys aging campus, Sou Fujimotos library champions books an especially noble achievement at a
time when the printed word is facing an uncertain future. Anyone can read at McDonalds, says the architect. But enjoying, concentrating, and
relaxing in a library surrounded by books is a special experience.
Yet the building is curiously longing for books. Both inside and out there is an abundance of empty shelf space. Initially Fujimoto envisioned walls
of books filled up high to the ceiling. But in the end only the first seven rows are actually in use, since shelves above six feet require extra
measures for earthquake protection and stepladders for access. After completion, I found that emptiness is better, reasons the architect. If you
fill up all the shelves, it is just a bookcase. But if you leave it part empty, it is full of potential.

Lined with towering bookshelf walls whose empty shelves represent the librarys potential as a place to use and house books for years to come
an integrated cascading stair and series of stepped shelves serve as a connection between the two main levels and provide plenty of room for
students to sit or recline as they read, sketch, or catch up on text messages and e-mail.

Architect:
Sou Fujimoto Architects
10-3,Higashienoki-cho, Ichikawa Seihon building 6F
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0807, Japan
T: +81(0)3-3513-5401
F: +81(0)3-3513-5402

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Completion Date: June 2010

Gross square footage: 69,095 sq.ft.

http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/building_types_study/libraries/2011/musashino.asp
Plainsboro Public Library

BKSK Architects
Plainsboro, New Jersey

P h o t o J e f f r e y To t a r o

Products
Owner
Township of Plainsboro Exterior cladding
Masonry: Lawrenceville Carters Grove Moulded (cavity wall)
Architect
BKSK Architects Metal/glass curtainwall: EFCO 5600 Series Curtain Wall w/custom
28 West 25th Street snap cap profile & custom three-coat flouropolymer by Valspar
New York, NY 10010 w/Guardian SN 68 Tinted/clear glass (pearlescent white)
(212) 807-9600
(212) 807-6405 EIFS, ACM, or other: EIFS Parex Watermaster Commercial
VR/DB; aluminum sunshade at stair tower CS Group (Airfoil
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit: Blades)
George Schieferdecker, AIA, LEED AP: Partner-in-charge
Keith Pitocchi, AIA: Project Manager Roofing
Erin Carraher, AIA, LEED AP: Project designer Built-up roofing: Main Roof & Terraces Siplast Paradiene 20/30 FR
Silvia Steude, LEED AP: Project designer Torchdown Mod. Bit Roof (Terraces have Teranap /M Drain system);
Michael Yeh: Project designer Canopy Kemperol 2K PUR Resinous Cold Fluid-applied roofing
system w/granular top coat by Kemper
Interior designer
Stacey Jattuso Windows
Steel: Exterior - EFCO 5600 Series Curtain Wall w/custom snap cap
Engineer(s): profile & custom three-coat flouropolymer by Valspar; Interior
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Harrison-Hamnett P.C. 40 Knowles EFCO 5600 Series, clear coat
Street, Pennington, NY 08534
Glazing
MEP ENGINEER: Skylights: Wasco Dome skylight
Ambrosino, DePinto & Schmieder
275 Seventh Ave, NY, NY 10001 Doors
Entrances: All glass & aluminum doors by EFCO, as part of its 5600
CIVIL ENGINEER: Series
CME Associates
3141 Bordentown Ave Wood doors: Custom wood veneer doors
Parlin, NJ 08859
Fire-control doors, security grilles: Roll-up grilles by McKeon
Consultant(s)
Landscape: Upswinging doors, other: Bilco Roof Hatch
H.M. White Site Architects
130 West 29th Street Hardware
NY, NY 10001 Locksets: Sargent asstd

Lighting: Hinges: Rixson


Kugler Associates (now Kugler Ning)
49 West 38th Street Closers: Sargent
NY, NY 10018
Exit devices: McKinney
Acoustical/AV/IT:
Shen, Milsom & Wilke Pulls: McKinney
44 Princeton Hightstown Rd.
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 Security devices: 3M Book Security Gates

Other - Exterior Envelope: Cabinet hardware: Hafele cab hardware (asstd.); Blumcraft doors
James Gainfort
Consulting Architect
Interior finishes
121 West 27th Street
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong Optima Dune with Axiom trim
NY, NY 10001
Suspension grid: Armstrong Suprafine XL, Silhouette XL, Interlude
Other - Graphics & Wayfinding:
XL, 360 Grids
Poulin & Morris
286 Spring Street
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Combo of laminated; Baltic and
NY, NY 10013
Birch ply custom red oak veneer

Other - Elevator:
Paints and stains: ICI at GWB walls
Iros Elevator
884 Paterson Avenue
Paneling: Plyboo (Smith and Fong) Bamboo pivoting bamboo
East Rutherford, N 07073
veneer wall panels with fabric-wrapped homosote on opposite face
of panels (Community Room); Fabric-wrapped acoustic panels
General contractor: H & S Construction & Mechanical, Inc.
(History Room)
Photographer(s): Plastic laminate: Abet Laminati, Formica, Wilson Art (asstd)
Vanni Archive
(212) 226-1207 Special surfacing: Solid polymer cone on aluminum frame (Cone of
info@vanniarc.com Silence at Childrens Level)

Jeffrey Totaro Floor and wall tile: Daltile Rittenhouse Square white w/Festiva
(215) 925-3732 spa blue, marine, sea mist (bathroom walls); Daltile Lanka grey 1x1
jt@jeffreytotaro.com tile (bathroom floors)

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Resilient flooring: Forbo Marmoleum (flooring in all service areas)
Vectorworks
Form-Z Carpet: Shaw Contract Group A Walk in the Garden Collection
with Blades pattern and custom colors

Raised flooring: Plyboo (Smith and Fong) Bamboo flooring in


Community Room; Stone 12x24 Fieldstone for Main Entry floor

Dry Stack Pennsylvania Fieldstone Wall on CMU backup; Arriscraft


Calcium Silicate units on Grid Worx aluminum grid system on CMU
backup

Furnishings
Office furniture: Herman Miller Intent

Reception furniture: Custom millwork with white oak veneer and


3Form resin panels

Chairs: Knoll Jens Risom Side Chair for Reading Table chairs;
Knoll Bertoia Diamond Chair

Tables: Knoll Crinion Open Table for Reading Room tables

Upholstery: banquettes upholstered with Maharam Repeat fabric


by Dutch industrial designer Hella Jonerius

Other furniture:
Book stacks: Biblomodel cantilever steel shelving

Lounge Seats: Water hyacinth chairs by Project Import Export


(P.I.E.) Tonecoon and Sushi Daybed Pe

Lighting
Interior ambient lighting: Eureka (Reading Room Pendants);
Zumtobel Claris series CSI-1545 (stacks areas); Zumtobel ZX
Series; Nippo Seamlessline Series (Main Reading Room); A+L
Lighting (various spaces); Color Kinetics (Cone of Light)

Downlights: Edison Price

Task lighting: Translite Sonoma USLA4 (Reading table lights);


Translite Sonoma (Stair tread lights)

Exterior: Belfer (exterior canopy); Selfux (exterior canopy)

Conveyance
Elevators/Escalators: Zip Elevator custom hyrdraulic 4 stop

Plumbing
Toilets Kohler K-4321 Toto w/sensor (low flow)
D.F. Haws 1105
Urinal Kohler UT-447
Lavatory Kohler K-1722

March 2011
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BROWSE: BUILDING TYPES STUDY

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Portola Branch LibraryStoner Meek/Noll & Tam Joint Venture Architects

Portland Public LibraryScott Simons Architects

Musashino Art University Museum & LibrarySou Fujimoto


Ingleside Branch LibraryFougeron Architecture

Bloor/Gladstone Branch LibraryRDH Architects Inc.

Beauty and the BookLibraries in the digital age raise questions about the place of books.
Battery Park City Library1100 Architect

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Plainsboro Public Library

BKSK Architects
Plainsboro, New Jersey
Image courtesy BKSK Architects