In the Community
This issue introduces public buildings for the community. There are four types of public buildings here; museums, libraries, and health and education buildings. C3 has previously looked at cases in which the community itself became functionally subsumed into the building’s raison d’etre, like a community center in the theme of “Community and the City” (#357). This time, however, public buildings that have more accurate functions are examined. They are relatively small in scale, being for local areas or residents.
This issue deals with two categories of small-scale public buildings for such local communities.
The Public and Institutional Buildings
The Changing Face of Community-Scale Architecture _ Douglas Murphy
What role do small community buildings play in today’s world? In the 20th century developments in transportation led to a great centralisation of functions in typologies such as the shopping mall, but in recent years the transition to a digital society is beginning to enact another centralisation of activity, with internet retail and social media all promising to change the way that people interact with their city. While housing, workspace and entertainment all continue to have great demand, all manner of alternative services and functions are in decline. Here we will examine a number of different new small-medium sized buildings, each one of which points to different ways in which architecture addresses this problem.
The Individuality and the Institution
Institutional Patterns _ Alison Killing
Health and education buildings have much in common, even as they might initially appear very different. As public buildings providing important services to their local neighbourhoods and as institutional buildings, they have to grapple with many similar issues. Where institutions are often defined by their rules and bureaucracy and the lack of personalisation that entails, how does the architecture push back?
This collection of buildings reveals a series of patterns in the ways that the architects and their clients have sought to mitigate the more institutional aspects of typical health and educational buildings, employing a number of key strategies in order to do so.