The RIBA President's Medals Student Awards

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Medal Winner 2001
Serjeant Award -
My project for a library explores the anxiety and the pleasure of a quest for learning, expressed as an endless journey whose boundaries extend in successively infinite proportions.

In my allegorical journey, a series of bicycles permit access to automated responsive 'cycle-in' mini libraries, each one a sort of toll-gate between states.

Physical space and fictional space overlap in a point of exchange which acts as a diversion from the path, lifting the borrower up above the road to a green pastoral landscape beyond.

This project accellerates in line with the current explosion of information to the speed of a drive-in institution. The library is seen as both vehicle and road. Illuminated billboards delineate moments of intimate space along the darkening road. There is a vague sense of doom in the animations, as if architecture were to disappear in the vast expanse of information along which it glides, a mechanical Icarus illuminating the path to information meltdown.

Andrew Yek

The student develops Victor Hugo's prediction that books would destroy architecture, and that architecture's powerful symbolic content would disappear to be replaced by the narrative and more easily accessible content of a collection of books.

In this new century, the student sees the internet revolution as another potential threat to architecture. He sees the library project as an opportunity to reinvent a space in which the physical environment will lose it's former points of reference.

He reinvents the very way we access this information, thereby shifting the notion of a lending library to the point of the surreal. He confers an iconic status upon the everyday objects of the roadside; such that bicycles, paths, billboards and headlights become prophetic cultural moments. These moments are there to be borrowed, consumed, and discarded again along one's journey and at one's own speed. The speed at which knowledge is collected, categorised, digested, and reflected upon becomes a question of individual choice (like the road). Boundaries and routes between traditional academic disciplines are erased in favour of an infinite array of personal destinations.

The student's vision for the library is poetic, profound and moving.

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