Looking at the wider context of my BOOKfactory and how I wanted it to interact with the buildings and streets around it, I looked at inserting a one story building into the middle of the High Street reducing it from one unused inefficient large open space to two narrower streets. I wanted the buildings and businesses to use these narrower streets to spill out on to and provide a better interaction with the public.
However I realised that it may not actually be doing much more, and started to question what benefits of public space do I get from creating two streets? (see previous post for diagrams)
I had problems with the existing building as well, it wasn’t addressing this feeling of community that I felt it should, or providing ideal interaction with the pend on its left and new street to its front.
My tutor asked me, what is it that you’re trying to achieve by inserting a BOOKfactory into the centre of Penicuik? I answered that I wanted it to be a place of interaction where people could come and learn, socialise or just relax. Like a giant living room, I said. BINGO. I needed to create a new more useable efficient public space, a square of some kind. The centre of Penicuik. A hub.
There was previously a square to the south of High Street but has since been cut up by a road and new housing that it is hardly even recognisable as a square anymore. So, a new public square would provide a sense of community, a meeting place, a performance space, could be used for markets, town events, and businesses to spill out onto, and my BOOKfactory gets split into two buildings. One pretty dominant public building with a Bookshop, Cafe and Internet area. The other set back in line with the rest of the buildings, housing paper making workshops, indoor performance spaces, storytelling areas and Wild Hawthorn Press, which is higher and with the two stories provides views up to the hills and down to the valley.
Right, game on…I’m off to draw up some proposals!