In 2007 White Ant Studio (then FOA) was asked to prepare a concept proposal for a public library in the International City of Auroville, 150km South of Chennai. Featured here is the first of two options. A brief excerpt of the design brief then (By now, another design by another architect has been built):
“Since years the Auroville Library operates in a semi-finished structure in Bharat Nivas in the International Zone of Auroville. This was always understood to be a temporary solution until the time for an independent library building for the community arises, thereby accepting the inadequacies and short-comings of this improvised space. In the last years, there has been an increased effort to plan and finance the actual library which will be able to house the book volumes and additional functions a library for Auroville with its projected 50 000 inhabitants will need.
Like most important public buildings for the community, the new library building is placed along the Crown Road close to the city centre, the residential and the cultural zones. At present, the Crown Road is in the first stages of taking shape with the Solar Kitchen, the New Pour Tous and ARCA being mostly built and other important public buildings in the pipeline.
The Auroville Public Library building takes this position on the Crown Road and its destination as important building along this vital urban link as the base for all design considerations.
Organisational Overview …
The building was envisioned as a block ideally of exposed concrete with small gaps separating the individual functions … these gaps would have been designed as internal landscapes …
The access would have been through a large colonnaded portico with the potential of becoming an interesting urban space … open for interaction and community life.
Floor Plan Option 01
Floor Plan Option 02
The roof plan with the staff accommodation …
The next post will show the final proposal which was presented to the Auroville Administration and the Governing Board and which wasn’t built … unfortunately the funds were not sufficient … 😦