Neutra Inspired Library

July 27, 2009

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Last week, I read on Curbed La (la.curbed.com) about the new Silver Lake Library and I thought I would share…

The library was designed by M2A Architects and has many Neutra esque features. Neutra is known for his use of bold geometric shapes, airy structures, and for really getting to know his clients and their needs.  Here is some of his work:

Boomerang Chair by Richard Neutra

Boomerang Chair by Richard Neutra

 

Kaufmann Palm Springs House

Kaufmann Palm Springs House

 

Both his furniture and his architecture exhibit his dedication to unique yet simple designs.

Now, the Silver Lake Library:

Reading Room

Reading Room

 

First Floor Room

First Floor Room

 

Staff Seating

Staff Seating

*All pictures above from la.curbed.com

Based on these pictures, I think the architects have done a great job designing the space to echo back to the era of Richard Neutra. The large glass windows give the space an airy, open feel and also allow for more than enough natural light. The bold angular stripes of color create interest in the rooms. And, I love what they have done with the staff seating. Having the workstations angled into the room give the space the geometric shape that Neutra is famous for. Not to mention the library is hoping to attain it’s LEED Gold Certification.

*Update*

I have just been informed by Felicia Filer, Director of Public Art for the Department of Cultural Affairs  for the City of Los Angeles, that there is another major contributor to the Silver Lake Library. That person is public artist Christina Ulke. Christina Ulke is the person behind the bold angular stripes of color as well as many other features throughout the library.

According to Felicia Filer:

“Her artwork “Twenty-Two Thoughts Meet At A Corner” consists of 5 pieces that feature text about Silver Lake’s unique cultural scene, the eclectic mix of modernism, pop culture, and art.
     The 5 thematic areas each use text as the main formal element, and present diverse voices of distinct moments in Silver Lake history. The steel beam, which extends from the library facade into the landscaped garden, contains a quote by Richard Neutra, whose office was nearby. The collection of quotes in the meeting room focuses on the modern Silver Lake. The quotes are painted on the top of underlying structural beams. Above the main circulation desk is a text mural of the Edendale Hills, which transitions between story-telling and identity-based postmodernism. In the children’s area is a playful display of a Wood Guthrie song. The youth area features quotes meandering over the walls in the form of sound waves.
     Ms. Ulke created the piece as part of the Public Percent for Art Programof the Department of Cultural Affairs. This program was developed from a City of Los Angeles ordinance requiring City improvement projects to spend 1% of the construction budget on public art. Ms. Ulke was selected by a competitive process for the commission. She spent a great deal of time and effort researching Silver Lake, and met several times with the architects, library staff, and members of the community while she was developing the work.”

Thank You Christina Ulke for making this such an impactful library. And Thank You Felicia Filer for bringing this to my attention.

2 Responses to “Neutra Inspired Library”

  1. Felicia Filer Says:

    Regarding your article, “Neutra Inspired Library,” the architects have done a great job of designing the space. However, another person should be recognized–public artist Christina Ulke. Christina is responsible for the “…bold angular stripes of color…” in the meeting room, which contain quotes from Silver Lake cultural producers. Her artwork “Twenty-Two Thoughts Meet At A Corner” consists of 5 pieces that feature text about Silver Lake’s unique cultural scene, the eclectic mix of modernism, pop culture, and art.
    The 5 thematic areas each use text as the main formal element, and present diverse voices of distinct moments in Silver Lake history. The steel beam, which extends from the library facade into the landscaped garden, contains a quote by Richard Neutra, whose office was nearby. The collection of quotes in the meeting room focuses on the modern Silver Lake. The quotes are painted on the top of underlying structural beams. Above the main circulation desk is a text mural of the Edendale Hills, which transitions between story-telling and identity-based postmodernism. In the children’s area is a playful display of a Wood Guthrie song. The youth area features quotes meandering over the walls in the form of sound waves.
    Ms. Ulke created the piece as part of the Public Percent for Art Program of the Department of Cultural Affairs. This program was developed from a City of Los Angeles ordinance requiring City improvement projects to spend 1% of the construction budget on public art. Ms. Ulke was selected by a competitive process for the commission. She spent a great deal of time and effort researching Silver Lake, and met several times with the architects, library staff, and members of the community while she was developing the work. She should be acknowledged for her work.
    Sincerely,
    Felicia Filer
    Director, Public Art
    Department of Cultural Affairs
    City of Los Angeles
    Felicia.Filer@lacity.org

    • megangalletly Says:

      Felicia,
      Thank you for that information! I will be sure to edit the post and acknowledge her work.

      Megan


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