Studio IV

Hot Toddies Coffee Bar

For Studio IV, our main project was to design a poetry library located in Cambridge, Massachusets off of JFK and Winthrop. The client asked for use of natural light, an interior/exterior relationship, vertical interaction, and use of structure. Program requirements included a reception area, book stacks with two computer stations, study/reading pods, a group study room for 8-10 people, a listining/ performing room, exhibition space, restrooms, librarian office, a staff office/work room, and exterior facade with signage.

Also, halfway through the project our client aquired a building ajacent to the library to be called Hot Toddies. A link to the project can be found at the bottom of this page.

For the poetry library, I chose a poem called 'Childhood' by Maura Stanton to guide my concept. You can read the poem below.

I used to lie on my back, imagining
A reverse house on the ceiling of my house
Where I could walk around in empty rooms
all by myself. There was no furniture
Up there, only a glass globe in the floor,
And knee-high barriers at every door.
The low silled windows opened on blue air.
Nothing hung in the closet; even the kitchen
Seemed immaculate, a place for thought.
I like to walk across the swirling plaster
Into the parts of the house I couldn't see.
The hum from the other house, now my ceiling,
Reached me only faintly. I'd look up
to find my brothers watching old cartoons,
Or my mother vacuuming the ugly carpet.
I'd stare amazed at unmade beds, the clutter,
Shoes, half-dressed dolls, the telephone,
Then return dizzily to my perfect floorplan
Where I never spoke or listened to anyone.

I must have turned down the wrong hall,
Or opened a door that locked shut behind me,
for I live on the ceiling now, not the floor.
This is my house, room after empty room.
How do I ever get back to the real house
Where my sisters spill milk, my father calls,
And I am at the table, eating cereal?
I fill my white rooms with furniture,
Hang curtains over the piercing blue outside.
I lie on my back. I strive to look down.
This ceiling is higher than it used to be,
The floor so far away I can't determine
Which room I'm in, which year, which life.

First floor plan (left) & second floor plan (right)

For the layout of the space, I wanted the bookstacks to be centrally located so that it could be easily found from all parts of the building. All of the angles in the entire poetry library play off of the angles of the bookstacks, every angled wall and even the roof plan.

The study/reading pods which are located on either side of the bookstacks have stepped ceilings which play off of stair steps (see perspectives) and reflect the sense of the 'reverse house' from the poem. The pods are each seperate enclosures from one another and are clad in a translucent 3-form material. When occupied, the pod will be illuminated so that people will know whether it is in use or not.

Materials Board

Building perspective

Angled roof plan with skylights and a central atrium over the bookstacks let in lots of natural light

First floor perspective to the left of bookstacks

First floor perspective to the right of bookstacks and stairs to second floor. Where the bookstack penetrates the second floor, there is a 1' glass section around the bookstack emphasising that it is continual and not two seperate ones, also allowing a view down the bookstack to the first floor.

Second floor perspective

Building section with bookstacks going through both floors and central atrium

South elevation with entrance, reception, and group/study room

North elevation with computer stations, general seating, and angled walls of the staff office/workroom