Public Nest: Charleston Public Library

Alex Atwood (website)
University of Florida College of Design, Construction, and Planning
Design Studio
Faculty: Alfonso Perez-Mendez


This site within Charleston is filled with layers of history. The library designed here is a place for collecting and sheltering history, books, and people: A Nest. This is idea of a nest was emphasized during the construction phase of the library. A large wall spanning the length and height of the building was used as a chief support to nest spaces within. Spaces of the library are nested and expand out from this wall. The library is built on half of the portion of the site to create an open square for people. 

The square created in between the library and the existing residences is a place where a variety of activities happen. It’s a place to read, play music, drink coffee; an open public space for everyone. The front of the library faces the plaza and the residences. To help filter people from the busy East Bay Street and into this public plaza, a coffee shop/residence is built on the empty lot on the corner.

The open vertical space is the center of the library where visitors enter and exit through. This vertical communal space is designed to emphasize verticality of the stacks of books and the layers of the floors.




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