The community centre and library in Hloubetin is positioned at the edge of the historic gardens of a castle and St. Georges church. The castle is surrounded by a containing wall and there is a gap in the wall which coincides with the plot of the community centre.
This structure represents the idea of the gate, encapsulating the spirit of community and integration. It speaks to the 'within and without' nature of the historic wall by positively embodying the concept of connection: between society, culture and garden. The emphasis on permeability in this design means street and garden are given to each other. Likewise, the building itself opens in various ways onto the garden allowing for a variety of architectural formulations for public events.
Historically, the church and the castle formed the centre of Hloubetin. A wise approach to upgrading the townscape must include developing and restoring the centre to attract visitors and create a community hub. By re-emphasising the historical centre indeed the whole area could be pedestrianized this creates a platform, both literally and metaphorically where a market place, restaurants, cafes, an organised car park, local shops can be properly sited. This proposed pedestrianized zone places Hloubetin exactly within the European tradition of the central square.
Planning & Interior
The building addresses its historical setting and forms a gate for modern life. Each of the spaces open onto the street and lead to the garden. The public café acts as a main entrance and a lobby, which gives directly onto the street.
The internal lines of the structure speak to the wall itself, texturally suggesting extrapolation of the historic wall. The walls act like objects themselves in their functions as bookshelves, stairs, coffee bar, etc. They are configured as displaced parts of the 'castle wall' creating divisions in the programme a multifunction hall & community hall; a library; a and a public cafeteria. Each part of the programme is interconnected through ramps and stairs. The dividing volumes are designed as modular timber structures as 'walls' which contain various service components such as a book depository & drop off point; a bar; a cloak room; stairs; ramps; picture display; internet access screens; and chair storage. The basement level is dedicated to library depository, technical rooms, kitchen, public toilets and staff changing rooms, with two exit staircases.
The 1st level is dedicated to quiet reading rooms, libraries, offices and a communication bridge. The walls and ground floor levels are adjusted to the landscape levels allowing seamless flow of public from the street to the garden. Glass doors surrounding the building on the ground level open to the garden and to the street allowing free flow of public in and out. The resulting interior is clean lined, light filled and neutral, and will form a simple but functional backdrop to the colour provided by books and day to day activities of the community members.
The structural elements of the object-walls, the facades and the roof are made out of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) grid 60x60x30cm. The basement slab is laid from reinforced concrete, the walls are made of foundation blocks. The ground floor slab is made of deck boards upon glue lam beams. The object-walls are composed with the technique of modular blocking used for shelving. The surfaces in between the shelves, vertically and horizontally, are filled with 25mm four layer polycarbonate colour sheets. Polycarbonate sheets provide good acoustic insulation and thermal control, which is useful when using the building in separate parts. The façade ground level is glazed, and first level and the roof