Social Lab

2020, Advanced Design 2

Imagining the City as a Library

Moving beyond the analogy of a ‘storehouse of knowledge’, the 21st century library has evolved from its institutionalised roots towards a contemporary identity as a public space for active learning, making and community building. With a fundamental interest in exploring a ‘performative’ library, this project takes a playful approach towards re-imagining the Central City Library as a porous urban landscape which fosters the delight of serendipity and social encounters.

Situated above Britomart Train Station, this project is a critique towards the economically focused urban development of Auckland’s waterfront which has neglected the importance of social inclusivity and civic identity. Social Lab therefore performs beyond the role of a library and towards a public living room, providing cultural event spaces and communal kitchens that can be easily accessed from Britomart Station. 

With existing streetscapes running through, the architecture is integrated into the urban fabric, opening its edges up for public access and in return, regenerating the social fabric of the city. Marking the interchange of knowledge, people and events, Social Lab is a place for strengthening culture and community.