The move away from overdue fines shows that established institutional practices can easily be changed. What other transformations await?

In an increasingly technological world, how has the library kept pace? Does the local library find itself more responsible now for preserving a deeper record of the area it serves? or less responsible?

Unlike a scholarly library concerned with preservation, can a local library aspire to ‘wear out’ its holdings? We will explore the limits of the local library, from contents to container.

Situated within Elmwood Park, a neighborhood of approximately 8000 residents east of downtown Detroit built in the 1960s. Wedged between Olmstead’s ‘rural’ cemetery and the lush superblocks designed by Mies and Hilberseimer. Built upon the former Black Bottom neighborhood, Elmwood Park is composed of mostly mixed-density multi-family housing, ranging from two-story townhouses to a few taller ‘Towers in the Park’ — yet essentially a suburb in the city.

How might the design of a library for Elmwood Park engage a landscape network, manage stormwater, redress previous ills of urban development, and reshape our understanding of this noble, neighborhood asset?

Means & Methods — things we will do: Make Books!

We will use the book as a pedagogical tool by which to study precedent and develop design, through the process of cataloguing the work in process.

More things we will do: —Sometimes work fast; sometimes work slow. —Usually favor the quick over the labored; sometimes labor over the quick.




Elmwood Central Park is a commonly overlooked landscape. As a way to bring more people to this site, EPCL incorporates large moves that can be seen from afar. Irregular and concave shapes (that are similar to the park’s boundary lines) are used to redirect pedestrian circulation in, around, and directly through the project. From this, the project creates visual slight lines that embrace the aesthetic nature of the park, while providing accessible gathering spaces for all. The experience of EPCL is a way to respond to the evolution of a library, while being a mixed-use asset for the community.

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