This past winter I had the opportunity to work on an international competition in my office of Palette Architecture, New York City. From my first day I was tasked to set up and start running the project which was a scary but great way to start in the firm. I have worked on a number of competitions in my previous firms back in Australia including winning the Queensland Performing Arts Center In Brisbane in partnership with Snøhetta Architects.
The past two months I have had the opportunity to help design our entry for the Gwangju City Public Library, South Korea, a large open international competition for a signature civic space for the politically historic city of Gwangju. It also was a great way to be introduced into the US since the project was in metric which was great for me reading the brief.
The project brought forward a number of civic, cultural and planning questions, especially since libraries are seen to be a historic typology solely based on the preservation and display of true and curated articles of information. Where we understand today it is so much more than the book, libraries are a place of gathering, discussion, and activities. New libraries offer so much community events, workshops and spaces that we sometimes forget that is a library.
Our proposal steered towards the idea of experiencing the collection of a library through a blurred space, where there isn’t such a division between the book, the floor and the seat. This was an interesting opportunity to work on a such a large project in a small office.
The experience here in New York City is wonderful both what I am learning in the workplace but also culturally within the city. It is definitely a city with such a mix of culture and people.