Lib-Ark, Central Park New York City, New York Pavilions, Manhattan Library Buildings, Architecture Images

Lib-Ark in Central Park, New York City

Aug 7, 2021

Design: WAY Studio

Location: Central Park, New York, United States of America

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

Lib-Ark, Central Park New York City

Welcome to Lib-Ark — the Library, the Park, the Ark, all-in-one for any literary adventurers. Allow us to guide you through “the protagonists’ journey”, and spend the day in meditation, reflection, or immersed in the simple pleasure of reading while traveling through the park. In these mobile reading pods that traverse this invigorating landscape, the journey will take you over hills and into valleys, past creeks and lakes, through forests and meadows.

This is the future of libraries – beyond stale and stable bookshelves that will transform reading into an innovative experience. Lib-Ark stores and holds one of New York’s most mobile collection of books. Let the story travel to you, take you with it, and lose yourself on the journey. Situated within Central Park of New York, let this be a haven within a haven.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

The Access – The Journey
Nodal points in the park or in the city allow you to access “the hero’s journey”, embarking on this futuristic literary adventure for all of us writing our own story. Lib-Ark stores and holds one of New York’s most mobile collection of books. Let the story travel to you, take you with it, and lose yourself on the journey.

The Pace
Carefully orchestrated combinations of different rhythms and speed patterns control the pods’ travel on hover tracks. Lift your head from your book and find yourself transported to a whole new scenery.

Lib-Ark Central Park

Ascend & Descend
The Ascend – Enjoy the climb, and ascend to the summit.

The Descent
Enjoy that rush, the hover, the drop, before falling deeper and deeper into dreams.

Lib-Ark Central Park

The Summit
Reaching a height above the trees of Central Park, you’re treated to a rare view of the city from within the park. As one takes in these iconic surroundings, it is the ideal moment to reflect on one’s past and future, the road that has brought you here and where it will continue to lead. Where will you summit next? Perhaps New York’s city skyline, or a book of another visitor, will be the spark that inspires the next step of your journey.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

The Reading Pod(s)
Transport pods house the majority of our fixed functions, and are essentially mobile mini reading rooms/libraries if you will. You can happen upon a book at random, or reserve a specific text or periodical from the vast collection of the greater New York Library and have it ready and waiting for you at your pod. Pods can also house mini events, day or night. It is a place that transcends you physically, mentally and spiritually into past remembrances or future imaginations.

There are several ways to access reading material:
1. by reserving material to a designated pod ahead of time;
2. via your own personal device any where any time within the complex;
3. by random encounters through curated selection of books on display areas in pods or other public areas;
4. by pick-up at the service counter (see “The Hall”).

Lib-Ark Central Park

The Valley
To have hills surrounding you is to feel the mighty presence of nature and your role in it. Maybe a book from the valley will speak to you as its voice, or else a symposium, an event, a music performance will speak for you to revere it.

Lib-Ark Central Park

The Plateau
Outdoor reading areas within the natural landscape

Hidden throughout the journey, these platforms serve as moments of rest, or of stillness, each with its own unique relationship with the surrounding man-made or natural scenery. Spend the day, bring wine, bring cheese, a picnic or just lay down with a book over your face, basking in the sun.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

The Hall
For larger events, lectures, general inquiries and back-of-house functions. The Hall is hidden beneath the man-made landscape fabric, with a view overlooking a small lake.

The Reflective Pond
The calm surface of the lakes induces reflection, while the versatility of water in its rippling effects help carry you through the story’s journey. Voices carry over the water as a book club nearby reads aloud to one another, and discuss hidden meanings, metaphors, motifs within a classic.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

The Fall
The sound of rushing water drowns out the world, drowns out conversations, drowns out thought, and lets you immerse yourself in the moment. A circular bench rests beneath the fall, sunken and hidden away underground. Here, you can be with yourself for just a moment, be in touch with your inner self, for the fall is a place for stillness within, for meditation, reflection and for thought, with or without a book. Perhaps one could even write one in this condition with aid of the white noise.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

The Crossroad(s)
Life is a constant stream of choices — up or down, slow or even slower, where will your journey take you? Which undiscovered text might you encounter?

The Zone(s)
The zone finds us all unexpectedly throughout the journey, as in life. When you find yourself in the zone, you’ll feel that moment of focus when everything else just falls away and you are completely concentrated on the texts before you. Immersed in your hero’s journey, transcendent in time and space, the zone may appear anywhere within Lib-Ark for each individual.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

The Sprawl
The Connection(s)
In the midst of one of the biggest metropolitan cities, Lib-Ark is dedicated to returning moments of pause to its residents. Currently its beta version is being tested in a specific area within Central Park, but its systems and structures are designed for future possibility of extending throughout the park or even throughout the city.

The Lib-Ark project was conceived by WAY Studio in 2019, in response to an ideas competition for a new library possibility within New York Central Park. We thought this was a good opportunity to re-consider the definition of a Library within our current information-age, where information is available at the tips of our fingers and our reading habits shifting drastically from paper books to digital articles.

Lib-Ark Central Park New York City

We enjoy the convenience of this new information age, but can’t help letting go of the romantics of happening upon a book, a story or just a couple of lines of text, which does not occur in the same way in the digital platform. Therefore we integrated these experiences along with our interventions of the site, and created the Lib-Ark experience.

Features within the Lib-Ark experience are inspired by the wonderful works of J.K.Rowling, “The Inner Studio” by Andrew Levitt, and the movie Inception.

Lib-Ark Central Park

Lib-Ark in Central Park, NYC – Building Information

© 未/WAY Studio 2021

Lib-Ark | Central Park
Library, Park, Ark

Location: Central Park, New York
Program: Library, Amusement Park
Time: 2019 (Conceived)

Team: Zheng Tao, Fernie Lai, Alan Hung, Zhang ZeQun, Li JiaXin

About WAY Studio
WAY Studio is an innovative architecture and design studio with a focus on coalescing architecture with art and technology. With consideration for artistic representation at its core, WAY Studio has focused on discovering new possibilities through cross-disciplinary collaborations. We are highly experienced in interdisciplinary work alongside artists, designers, consultants, engineers and more, seeking new possibilities in every situation. We are interested in looking towards what is next, to pioneer a new WAY, and to find the balance between people and nature, culture and technology. WAY Studio currently has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Vancouver.

Lib-Ark Central Park

Images: WAY Studio

Lib-Ark, Central Park New York City images / information received 070821

Location: Central Park, New York City, NY, USA

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