Commercial Architecture March 2016 - (Page 13)

FEATURE public libraries Ken's V I E W Anything 2.0 Is So Over I f you're keeping track of things destined for the dustbin credit card, another business model much beloved by big could find one of my e-readers, I could no doubt enumerate more faults, but I don't know where the things have got to. of history-hotel desks, hotel restaurants, and guestroom companies. For families struggling to pay a mortgage or light switches that work (just to single out a specific recent college graduates struggling to eat, these insidiously Libraries, of course, can't pretend the digital revolution industry)-you can add compact-fluorescent lamps (CFLs) multiplying, out-of-mind, automatically renewed deductions never happened or that it doesn't appeal strongly to some to the list of endangered stuff. are a financial disaster waiting to happen. people. Derek Jones of Perkins + Will related that while First introduced in the 1980s, CFLs were hyped as The good news is that libraries and books don't seem people are nostalgic about the serendipitous browsing of Light Bulb 2.0, but like many 2.0 innovations, they've failed to be following the same road to oblivion as CFLs. In fact, library stacks and finding just the book one didn't know one miserably. They never caught on, perhaps because many the demise of either is overstated. Sales of e-books are needed, few of them actually do that any longer. Instead, people hated them. General Electric recently announced it leveling off or may be declining, although it's difficult to find they make discoveries online-which may lead them will stop making the contorted light sources. CFLs account agreement on that. Nevertheless, after bookstore chains eventually to their public library-but browsing the stacks for just 15% of sales in the U.S., the company says by way such as Borders were decimated, some independent is regrettably passé for most people. of explanation. booksellers say they're doing well. The Washington Post So that's the mixed bag of good and bad news for this Enter Lightbulb 3.0 or LEDs. Even though they initially reports that some people who aren't supposed to remember month-save for one final, off-topic warning: Beware cost a ton of money, LEDs persisted and prices have what it's like to read a book, in fact prefer print. A British hoverboards-which don't actually hover and are dropped, not unlike the relative cost of smartphones, trade publication says print is more popular than e-books sometimes known as explosions waiting to happen. Some computers, and other digital doohickeys. Beyond that, they amongst readers aged 16 to 24. say they were one of the hottest gifts of the recent holiday can perform many more functions than incandescents and Older readers predictably say they like the feel and season, neglecting to say one reason for their hotness CFLs ever dreamed of, opening new possibilities in lighting smell of books. I'd take that sentiment a step further. Go was they sometimes caught fire or exploded because of design. to any library or bookstore, and you'll notice that no two faulty lithium-ion batteries-which, in turn, is the reason But LED's won't solve all of lighting's dilemmas. LEDs books look alike. Aside from the cover art, which surely major airlines have banned the things from their flights. are hard to recycle, just like electronics of any sort, reports will be reproduced poorly in digital editions, each book A blessing, I say, because aside from safety concerns, the UK's Guardian. But what if Wi-Fi were used to connect has distinctive design elements, such as typeface, leading, passengers already carry enough junk aboard. lamps to a supplier that could then send a replacement margins, paper stock, size, and weight. Now an enterprising company is marketing fire- notification and collect the old bulbs? That's assuming Considerable design thought has been given to books. safe bags for the deadly toys, good to avoid burning the users will not ignore the email or text. Millennials, I'm told, Readers may not be consciously aware of book design, but house down, it's said. If you care to note my prediction, don't do email. it influences the reading experience and even purchasing hoverboards will go the way of CFLs-just sooner. Worse, however, is a suggested service-versus- decisions, just as architecture subtly influences reaction But enough of this; I'm headed down to my local library, ownership model. Users would rent bulbs instead of owning to built environments. E-readers, on the other hand, have which odds are will outlast CFLs, hoverboards, and similar them. This is like the software model in which users pay limited and dismal typefaces, poor leading and hyphenation, "innovations." There I'll browse the stacks and hope to an annual fee rather than outright purchase the software. and awkward word spacing; they just aren't particularly avoid combustible playthings. This usually entails an automatic deduction from one's attractive. One gets bored by their visual monotony. If I - Kenneth W. Betz, Senior Editor In other areas, stack height has dwindled in most li- SPACE ALLOCATION braries, dropping from 88 to 94 in. to 42 and even 36 in., Space allocation is another adjustment in contemporary so there are clear sightlines. "People want to be able to library design. Areas for storing books and periodicals see and navigate the whole space and not have large vi- are being condensed, for example. "The question librar- sual obstructions," Jones said. ies are asking is, 'Should I pay $X to store books, or Want more information? The resources below are linked on our website at and our digital magazine at digital/mar2016. "The biggest driver in utilities is cooling and electri- pay half of $X for condensed storage of books and al- cal," Derek Jones added. "A lot of our clients told us that low more space for study and collaboration areas?' The the duration of their patrons' stay was highly deter- latter often better supports community members who Library Design Showcase mined by the battery life of their computer, so if you need the resources-or need to learn how to get them. State of America's Libraries want people to stay longer you need access to power- So we are also seeing more rooms with limited privacy and the traditional library had only a few power points. and perhaps a higher level of activity, although they of- Now you see every table and every chair is connected fer some privacy for groups and collaborative learning," 21st Century Libraries: Changing Forms, Changing Futures with power and USB; lockers have plugs in them so peo- Carrier said. Designing Better Libraries blog ple can charge their devices while they're off doing something else." In the final analysis, libraries are far from obsolete, even as their service model continues to evolve. CA Better Public Libraries Public Libraries In The United States Survey MARCH 2016 COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture March 2016

Table of Contents
Editor's Notebook
The Architects: Design For Authenticity
Thriving On Change
Ken's View
Facial Recognition Enhances Museum Experience
Building Technology Products
LEDS Brighten Facility From Front To Back
Lighting & Electrical Products
ACM Panels, Prismatic Finish Focus Community's Attention
Pine Workshop Boosts Fence Building
Exteriors Products
Water Gets A Boost
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Polished Concrete Provides Solid Footing
Feature Wall Welcomes Travelers
Interiors Products
Franklin's Kite Reimagined As Glazed Facade
Renovation Recaptures Original Design
Windows & Doors Products

Commercial Architecture March 2016