Laboratory of Architecture #3 has just opened a stunning public library whose design was inspired by playground slides. Located in Tbilisi, Georgia, the Mediathek Library’s rectangular shape “floats” off the ground while a large open-air staircase winds around the building’s interior courtyard, giving children plenty of room to run, play and read away from the industrial areas in the neighborhood.
The project’s aim was to give families a peaceful, but fun place to escape the housing blocks and industrial zones found in the area. Located in the middle of a local park, the building is a contrast of volumes and materials. The main shape of the 12,000 square-foot library is a cantilevered rectangular block clad in a semi-transparent fabric-coated steel, giving the space a light, airy aspect. Lifted 12 meters off the ground on steel stilts, the dynamic building appears to be floating off the ground.
On the interior, the architects used a typical playground slide as inspiration for the large spiraling staircase that swirls around the open-air courtyard, encouraging kids to run around and explore the building. Mediathek contains a multi-media library for children and adults with various reading spaces such as an open-air round courtyard on the upper floor, which is fenced in by a brilliant blue wall. There are also plenty of play areas, as well as spaces for art exhibitions, lectures, conferences, and concerts.
Photography © Nakanimamasakhlisi