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Ageing and the Library | Waalse Krook | Gent
studio of Chris Scheerlinck, Tomas Ooms and Marc Dujardin | 01 2011

Taking the context and culture of the two themes we were tasked to design a hybrid building, containing dwellings for an ageing population and a library. The site is the Waalse Krook in Gent. This is the site for an architectural competition for the new library for the city of Gent. We had to develop a contemporary theory/philosophy on Alternative Formats for Collective Living and express this theory architecturally. The theory's focus is on dwellings for an ageing population.

We want to create possibilities, spaces that ease the appropriation. By mixing the functions of the library, the public and private space we get 8 different atmospheres to place in the polyvalent places, horizontally and vertically as well.
Ageing people are people with different needs and lifestyles. In this central site has to be created an urban logic that could include these different urbanities by having different types of dwellings. Programatically and spatially, we want to give them a central place in the society by making them the new "knowledge keepers". The library is decentralised in many reading rooms and shaped within the dwellings. We redefine the borderes between private and public, dwelling and library with what we called the "book-facade".
Ageing people are people living with other citizens. We want this site to continue the existential urban network and improve the mobility of all citizens. An "educational track" connetcts the circus (media center) and the entries to the reading rooms. A continuous pedestrian/bike path crosses the whole site and gives access to public facilities; restaurant, green areas, an access by boat.

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