A Children's Library: Designing Spaces for Play and Imagination
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Children’s understanding of space is a fusion of reality and fantasy, in which the physical environment, play, and imagination assume important roles. The boundary between the imaginative realm of the child and the physical realm of the world is blurred and penetrable, allowing for uninhibited associations and assimilations with the environment. A design for a children’s library is used to develop a method for designing potent environments for children to experience, play, and imagine. Using a palette of experiential qualities and memorable episodes to inform a set of parts, a series of spaces and activities or events are then dynamically assembled. The library, located within a forest site in Vancouver, is the testing ground for this assembly, playing with spatial and material configurations to blur perceptions of reality and fantasy, between the surrounding natural environment and the constructed one, as well as between the activities of learning and playing, in order to create a dynamic environment for childen.