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Baton Rouge Public Library

The Study

The design process began with the initial assignment of designing a study that would fit within the confines of 10’x10’x10’ dimension. The study space was to be directly inspired by a plant native to the flora and fauna of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Aspects and characteristics of the plant were to influence the design in a biomimetic fashion.

An abstraction of biological processes led to a form which focused light over a specific space. A clustering of these forms, would play out the relationship of the plant’s leaves and rhizome.

The Library

Aspects from the ‘Study’ Assignment were carried through into designing a library to replace a current dilapidated structure in the downtown Baton Rouge area. The ‘towers’ of the study were to distinguish the three distinct Library program types dedicated to children, teens and adults. Three different lights would distinguish these seperate programs based on time of day.The tower forms’ generating lines are extended downwards to begin to map out three distinguishable categories of program in plan.

During the early morning period, sunlight would be cast through the skylight of the eastern facing tower illuminting the children dedicated program of the building corresponding to this early phases of life. During the Midday period, sunlight would highlight the ‘Teen’ program through the southern facing tower. And finally, during the afternoon period , sunlight would cast its rays through the western facing tower on the ‘Adult’ dedicated library program.

Project was awarded first prize in the annual RISD Architecture Alumni Travel Award 2013 - The competition is conducted by the Department of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and serves to support excellence in design achievement.