Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Library of Babel Pin Up

For my pin up I have condensed all of my research into a few sheets of A1, starting off with a sectional perspective sketchup image showing the hexagrids:

There are no books on this render because my computer could not cope with all the data passing through it if each hexagon contained hundreds of books.

The next image shows how the vertical circulation is connected by triangular geometry. There are 6 points of direction from each hexagon containing a staircase, and only 2 points of direction from each gallery:

I then created a sketchup file showing books on the top layer of hexagons, 35 on each shelf, 5 shelves on four sides of the hexagon (in keeping with the book):

For my final drawing in plan I used my sketch in my previous blog entry to produce this perspective drawing showing the layout of one of the hexagons. I have designed it so that it contains the basic necessities for human survival. There are two compartments either sides of one of the passageways into neighbouring hexagons; one for the librarian to sleep upright, and the other containing a latrine (WC). There is no open space anywhere in the gallery, just narrow corridors, in this case travelling around a void where so many librarians have jumped to their death.

The reading table is positioned so that the librarian can see books on one side of their periphery, and the grim sound of falling bones and decomposing bodies on the other. The cramped/narrowness of the spaces only adds to the suicide rate of the librarians, which the book is so keen to describe.

I produced a section to the reading tables and the librarian looking down into the central void, watching a skeleton fall past, who would have been falling down the infinite hole for months. Pulmonary is a common cause of death in the library because there is no natural ventilation to oppress the odour of bodies falling past. The dust of decomposing bones is inhaled by the librarians... the smell of death is always around them.

My next two images show two perspectives of the interior of the library. The uniformness of the books adds to the feeling of infinity, and have equal appeal to librarians who are so desperately searching for the divine knowledge, or even a library catalogue. I experimented with a combination of sketching and Photoshopping to create these images:

It was hard reading the brief and then reading The Library of Babel. The brief was tailored to existing, real-world libraries, questioning neighbouring buildings, natural light, context and design principles, none of which applied in my case study. I did however research possible materiality for the library.

Graphene, when folded over, creates carbon nanotubes, which is the strongest known substance in the universe, seemingly perfect for creating an infinitely tall (and structurally sound) library. On a molecular level, graphene is also composed of hexagrids, so this ties in with the infinite floor plans of a much larger scale.

Carbon Nanotube (folded graphene)

However the book does mention that the library is built in another universe, where another stronger material may well exist.

For this pin-up I taught myself how to use Adobe Indesign, a piece of software which I found very intuitive and immediately helpful when it came to positioning text and images in grids/guides:

With everyone in the group using the same Indesign guides, the plan is that every student's case study will be quickly assembled into a book and/or an online document for us all to refer to, so we have numerous case studies of libraries to help our studies.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing. One question: why do you think Borges says "*One* of the hexagon's free sides opens onto a narrow sort of vestibule." Why does he say one, and not two?