The Vancouver Public Library commissioned Ratio to reimagine their future and design the evolution of the library the result is the VPL’s Digital Inspiration Lab.
The new Digital Media Lab will be a space where people can tell stories, make videos and use digital tools to collaborate and create. Although it will feature leading technology, it also returns back to the idea of a library as the heart of creative discourse and thought within a community.
Ratio’s imagination and design leadership peeled back the layers of convention and revealed an exciting and lively concept that both reinvents and reinforces the original notion of the library. The design seeks to connect this new space to the existing library in a meaningful way. The strength of the existing library concept – active zones around a functional core is reinforced in the arrangement of functional area for the media lab. The radii of the existing reading gallery arcs form a network of inferences that generate three-dimensional space. The result is a palimpsest architecture where the existing space is seen through the new intrinsically linking them. The challenge in the 740 sqm project lay in creating a cohesive and unique design that is potentially scalable, while maintaining existing library circulation patterns, adjacent rooms, and library stacks.
Our design concept considers the past and future together to create something new within the existing geometry of the building’s traditional forms. This “palimpsest architecture” concept reminds us that we are constantly building on our history. The established is seen through the new.