Spanning nearly 6000sqft, the academic library of the University of Asia Pacific (UAP), provides an intimate and uninterrupted relation between students and books. Completed and inaugurated in September 2019, the book-filled library is designed spacious, engaging, and inviting for utmost concentration.
The Department of Architecture, UAP, was given the responsibility to design the interior of the library. The overall design and execution of the library were guided by Dr. Abu Sayeed. M. Ahmed along with senior faculty members. The principal designer is Ar. Bin Sayeed Bakhti, a lecturer at the dept, and Ar. Muhtadin Iqbal, Asst. Professor of the dept, was in charge of the construction management. Previously, the place was disorganized and students did not browse the bookshelves except for using the library as a common room for textbook works only. Also, there was inadequate space for the accommodation of both students and books but the main challenge was to create an inviting and engaging space. Through the transparent glass door entry, the library looks spacious and an inviting place surrounded by an amazing collection of books. The entrance creates a point with a panoramic view of the library that offers different options. First, the intimate lounge welcomes spontaneous participation. It generates informal activities and sharing which is the core of a university campus memory. It also buffers the reading area from the noisy atrium to a quieter zone.
Passing the reception, the intimate alleyways of bookshelves hints towards the naturally lighted reading area; towards the light of knowledge metaphorically and literally. “We broke the rectangular column grid with an angular axial shift to emphasize the connection between the reading area and the entry lounge”, explains Ar. Iqbal. ” Disappearing the heavy 27″ columns into bookshelves creates an intimate scale. The reading area is naturally lit during the pick hours, while the windows also offer a comprehensive view of the city,” he continues.
In terms of material selection, the user’s comfort and ease of maintenance within a limited budget have been the primary concern. Apart from this, the contrasting color scheme that is chosen, emphasizes the focus on the bookshelves.
The backlit glass surface behind the books further enhances the focus. The brown tone also brings warmth to space. The naturally lighted reading area is compensated by artificial light to ensure functional luminosity based on the need and purpose. Further, the ceiling lighting and linear pattern on the ceiling and the floor give direction throughout the library. The furniture used in the project is custom made that doubles the seating area than before. The shelving area is maximized by acquiring vertical space and a sliding shelving system. The modular furniture and shelves also ensure comfort and flexibility for the future. Signage is the other vital design element that is needed for a hassle-free library experience. To ensure that experience, the design incorporated signage, and visual graphics. The visual elements create an identity as a UAP library and develop a sense of belonging. The design also caters to other facilities like charging ports, Wi-Fi, bag locker, RFID, etc.
Lastly, each detail and design input made in the library, focuses on making the space more user-friendly, so that reading becomes a happy time and sharing knowledge becomes a reason for interaction.