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Interior Architecture Thesis and Atlanta Public Library

design possibilities for the Atlanta Central Library

An integrated studio of 3rd and 4th year Interior Architecture students have mounted an exhibit cataloging design possibilities for the Atlanta Central Library.  Commissioned in the late 1960's but not completed until 1980, the iconic downtown library is the final building by celebrated modern architect Marcel Breuer (1902-1981). Breuer was a student at the Weimar Bauhaus, and he was a major contributor to the development and codification of Modernism in Europe and America.  The Bauhaus remains a touchstone of integrated design—a total environment including urban design, architecture, interiors, industrial design and art.  Breuer is remembered for his innovative bent tubular chairs, early modernist houses in America and muscular public buildings in precast concrete. He is a unique model for the inclusive discipline of Interior Architecture.

The bold exterior of the Atlanta Central Library looms mysteriously at the edge of Margaret Mitchell Square.  It is unmistakably accomplished, but the building is not universally lovable.  Likewise, the interior is simultaneously open and dark, expansive and constricted, noble and meager.  To fully embrace new technologies and fluid work habits, the library must now accommodate a growing range of activities.  Using the work of Breuer as a guide, the studio led by Kevin Moore and Nathan Foust has reimagined the expansive interior by developing meaningful luminous and acoustic variety.  Students traveled to Minneapolis to study St. John’s University, the largest collection of Breuer’s work in the U.S..  Through careful observation of the subtleties of St. John’s Abbey Church and Alcuin Library, the studio has proposed an appropriate but expansive range of lighting and acoustic qualities for the contemporary public library.  A variety of spaces—from quiet refuge to boisterous hangout—anticipates diverse activities including quiet study, group tutoring, video production, language classes and public lectures.

The exhibit of student work from the studio was on display in the Dudley Commons Gallery in August and  September.

View Gallery of Student Work