A driving force in the continual reconstruction of New Orleans, REBOUND seeks to enliven the city’s people by reinterpreting the common vision of the library. This ultimate public amenity is defined by equal parts knowledge and community, emphasizing our human desire to share our pursuits both virtually and physically in an increasingly disconnected world.
Approaching the library, visitors are confronted with the massive volume housing the physical collection of over one million titles set deep into the constructed landscape. The cavernous space is occupied by an industrial-grade Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS), communicating the weight of our common physical history and providing a backdrop for the ascension to the top of the plinth. Here, pedestrian paths drawn up from the landscape of Woldenberg park converge to relate the building’s entry to Jackson Square and Canal Street while tying back to the grid of the French Quarter.
Within, reading and browsing opportunities vary in scope from traditional to virtual in a variety of spaces crafted to suit the volumetric character of each. The triple-height lobby accommodating an auditorium and trolley station serves as the access point to the retrieval system for all visitors. This crux provides a transition between the mass of the plinth and the elongated core erupting from the park landscape. Above, reading spaces are characterized by a light and open atmosphere allowed by the clear span, emphasizing the expansive view of the river flowing steadily below. Meanwhile, virtual browsing bays populate the lower level of this core and serve as the main interface between library goers and the AS/RS. Emphasizing digital technology, this approach seeks to enable users of all ages and interests while connecting the public as part of a larger civic body of shared knowledge.
Selected for its beauty and strength, steel lends efficiency and economy to the overall scheme in the form of composite trusses. Exposure of the structural elements reveals the rigor of the cantilevered form and expected environmental loads while paying homage to the steel yards that once dominated this stretch of riverfront. A formal language of deconstruction applied to the cladding scheme for views and accessibility relies on a system of steel tensile elements, revealing the structure further. By developing the landscape into a sculptural plinth and access point for everyone while serving as a bridge crossing the site’s existing train lines, REBOUND activates the riverfront.
Selected for its beauty and strenght, steel lends efficiency and economy to the overall scheme in the form of composite trusses. Exposure of the structural elements reveals the rigor of the cantilevered form and expected environmental loads while paying homage to the steel yards that once characterized this stretch of New Orleans riverfront.
1/200"=1'-0" site model
1/32"=1'-0" structural model
1/16"=1'-0" study model
1/8"=1'-0" section model
Browsing | Part enclosed study space, part virtual bookshelf interface, the browsing bay module populates the first floor and utilizes projection and touch navigation to connect people to information as well as each other.
Circulation | All information can be accessed physically via a secondary interface located in the lobby.
AS/RS | An Automated Storage and Retrieval System uses modern industrial technology to manage the library's immense collection in an efficient and organized manner.
Bookshelf | With both physical and digital editions of all volumes available at a moment's notice, the system addresses the needs of all types of visitors.