I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on my call for thoughts on the architecture of the planned downtown library, both in e-mail and in the comments section of my previous post.
To start off with, one reader astutely pointed out that it’s not fair to judge the library on the one still photo I included in the post. He suggested I include this video with architect Rob Wellington Quigley discussing the project with the aid of a number of computerized images:
Now, on to what you had to say.
My fifty plus years experience of using the City of San Diego’s library system leads me to suggest our energy would be better spent by first considering the state of the library system overall. The Central Library clearly needs modernization, but merely designing a new facility, without first considering the state of the entire system, would be a mistake. There are many fine examples of modern Central libraries across the globe, but the finest ones are not just a facility architecture statement, they are a system architecture centerpiece.
Another consideration regarding the design of a library facility should be to balance how people feel about the library as they enter as well as how people feel about themselves while at the library.
What do I think? I think the design is horrible.
The artistic, in an e-mail with the subject line “New library design:”
Andrew, I’ve visited many central libraries in cities throughout the nation and Canada. The design of San Diego’s proposed central library is among the best, both in functionality and allowance for future growth. A well designed central library is not just a collection of books, tapes and research material, it is the cultural hub of the city. Citizens, tourists, as well as the various educational and business entities, throughout the region, would all benefit. Architect Rob Quigley reached out to all of these groups, solicited input and incorporated their feedback into the design. It is time to move forward. Les Williamson, Serra Mesa
And the advice-filled:
Boring, uninspired, definitely will looked (sic) dated in about 20 years. Looks like a hospital with a virtual dome pasted on top. Let Jim Hubbell have a crack at it. Then we might get a chance of something unique and memorable.