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The Super Library

Digital innovations of the past 20 years have incited the most emphatic transition within the library to date; with the introduction of the internet and new electronic media granting the potential to the typology to assist toward the cultural development of cities. But by the pervasiveness of new technologies now usurping the traditions and practices of societies past, libraries have begun to focus upon emerging digital cultures over those of their context’s past. Without a means of introducing traditional cultures to emerging technologies; or an architecture that harmonizes these in-built form; will the absorption of technologies come at the consequence of culture and tradition permanently?

Sited in the historic District of Georgetown, Chennai; in wake of future plans for its ‘smart’ redevelopment, the Super library explores a radically new approach to library design. Identifying the cultural peculiarities of the city, through five unique spaces the library explores how such cultures can be adapted through technologies and integrated within the function of a library. In doing so, granting Chennai’s culture a renewed vitality and ensuring its future survival

Anchor 1
South/West Axonometric
Anchor 2
North/East Axonometric
Anchor 3
The Library Street (First Floor Plan)
the music box
the studio
the garden
The information Well

This thesis explores the potential integration of culture and technology within the design of the modern public library as a means to provide legibility and relevance to traditional cultures in developing societies. In doing so it begins to rethink the ways in which designers integrate modern technologies within design and demonstrates the potential benefits in drawing inspiration from the traditions and cultures of society. 

Exploring multiple approaches through the five unique spaces designed, rather than a definitive solution, this thesis intends to create a platform for conversation breeding greater discourse upon culture driven design in the future.

Additional to introducing traditional to technology, within distinct moments (the information well as an example) this thesis stimulates thought regarding the potential introduction of culture to the navigation of online ‘digital spaces’. This awakening an entire new field of discussion where architectural design transcends beyond the physical environment.


For access to the projects official report, please contact

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