bookends - a community library for tembisa

This community library in Tembisa provides study areas, multi-media lending, internet access and access to civic information. It also has an activities hall that accommodates various workshops, lectures, adult education and other small community gatherings. These public facilities are connected by an entrance foyer.

The building is positioned parallel to the contours of the land but not square to the site - this created the opportunity for a tree lined pedestrian walkway through the site linking the transport node on the south with the surrounding houses to the north.  The entrance foyer roof and colonnade extend over this public walkway thus inviting the community into the library.  The foyer itself is a covered, outdoor courtyard-type space with dappled light from above and one point of entry.  Thus, the entrance is welcoming but singular which enables the facility to be relatively easily secured and the users and equipment kept safe in a tough neighbourhood.

The building is conceived of as an 'open book' with the entrance, the spine, being between two up-lifting roofs, the 'covers'.   The richness of the building is also on the inside with the plain, external wall to be used as an outdoor walk-in movie house.  The scale of the building is such that it has a presence in the landscape but care has been taken not to overshadow the surrounding community.