Friday, July 21, 2006

Architecture: Scotland – The Scottish Poetry Library
I just came across a beautiful building - the Scottish Poetry Library by Malcolm Fraser Architects.

The mix of European Oak for siding with a steel and glass awning and the soft white exterior concrete steps is really well handled. The timber cladding is essential to the humanness of this structure and is a great example of working wood into modern architecture. You can learn more about the cladding in an article at the “Scottish Executive” website Scottish Executive” website .

At the entry notice the every-other-step steps that are big enough for seating. I imagine that they work well if you want to sit outside and read, talk or watch the street. They are also wide enough so that you don’t get tangled up with people walking up to the entry. The intimate scale of the whole stair system also helps to draw you in. Fraser has created a nice modern riff on a classical interweaving of 2 patterns of usage – stairs as place and access.

My only issue with the Scottish Poetry Library is that finding a decent picture online is almost impossible. There are only about 4 decently composed and exposed images of it online which is amazing given the number of awards it has been given. I clipped these excellent images by Keith Hunter out of the Brick Development Association’s [as 3.6 MB pdf ]
“Brick Bulletin” of 2000

If you’re in Edinburgh and can work the library and your camera into an architecture tour of sorts, let me know. I’d love to either post some more good pics or link to them if you have them up somewhere online.

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