Architect Discusses Library Design Philosophy


Jay Barrett/KMXT

The new Kodiak public library is currently being designed by MRV Architects in Juneau. The process includes several trips back to Kodiak with conceptual designs incorporating public input. The most recent trip back was on Friday and Saturday, with the next one scheduled in mid November.

Before the last visit, MRV President Paul Voelkers discussed some of his design philosophy with KMXT. He said in response to a question about the heavy use of the library by Kodiak’s large number of homeless, that good design keeps different populations separate.

(Library 1 38 sec "I think all libraries have … population groups a little bit.")

He said creating spaces throughout the library that would appeal to different user groups is a goal of good design:

(Library 2 32 sec "What we’re look at is … good soft chair in the corner.")

Voelkers said that a one-story library is more easily accessible, and is more cost-efficient:

(Library 3 34 sec "There’s usually compelling reasons … very difficult to do.")

He said the proposed site for the library, across from the borough building atop Signal Hill, has an ideal southern exposure, which opens up the possibility of taking advantage of alternate energy in the design:

(Library 4 45 sec "Trying to capitalize on … this area and this setting.")

He said his firm will be looking at some of those sustainability ideas in the design.

Voelkers said he’ll be bringing back the latest round of design modifications two weeks from now, on November 14th and 15th.


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