The Newbern library

A&De magazine

The Newbern library

This project is based on a brick bank built in Alabama dating back to the early 1900s. The structure has been transformed into a community library by Rural Studio, a design program made up of students for social work.

The Newbern Library is located in the city from which it takes its name; it was converted by fifth-year architecture students to the Rural Studio of Auburn University: a program founded in 1993 by Samuel Mockbee to create an architecture for disadvantaged residents in the areas rural.

The recent project was born after the study was contacted by local community leaders who were trying to build a new library.

The project involved both the renovation and expansion of the modest flat-roofed building. Its masonry and glazed roofs have been preserved and renewed. A simple metal canopy extends from the front and protects the entrance. At the back of the building, the team added a 65-square-meter cubic structure clad in cypress, which contrasts with the white brickwork.

Inside, the team installed birch plywood bookcases, which were milled using computerized numerical control (CNC) and assembled on site. The back half of the bookcase has deep rectangular windows that serve as welcoming areas for reading.

The studio has preserved and repeated original elements, such as the old pine floor and the door of a bank vault. A courtyard just north of the building serves as a shaded outdoor area for reading and activities. The bricks of the original structure were used for floors and low walls.


The Newbern library
The Newbern library
The Newbern library
The Newbern library
The Newbern library
MEDIAGALLERY 5


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December 2017 © A&De Magazine

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