Something fun, for our last post. Afficiados of a certain science-fiction series have oft remarked on the resemblance of the Berkeley’s Sfera con Sfera to a half-built Death Star.
Images: Estelle Gittins
As we wrapped up 2017 and Berkeley50, the last event was a week of projections on to the iconic north face of the Berkeley, using images and video to tell the story of the Berkeley and how it came to be, but also featuring some of the events we’d hosted during the year.
I think we’ll let the images speak for themselves!
One of the little-known aspects of the building of the Berkeley was the modifications made to the eastern end of the Old Library, which now houses our Department of Early Printed Books, after concerns were raised about the soundness of the structure. The redevelopment of the East Pavilion by Koralek also involved the creation of a new shop and entrance for tourists, and a concrete staircase in the same style as the Berkeley to bring visitors up to the Long Room; the Long Room itself was closed from August 1968 for nearly two years for other minor improvements to be carried out and to allow lighting, heating and a fire-detection system to be installed. Continue reading “#48 Please Exit Via The Giftshop”
We’ve always thought the Berkeley was a pretty stylish place, where all the cool kids hang out. Hence we were delighted when FRANC magazine asked about featuring us in the Fall 2017 edition of their publication. This led to the great video and images below, where fashion is showcased against the Library.
We’ve enjoyed posting various “might-have-beens” recently, but have saved the most radical until last – a variety of plans to have a new joint facility with the National Library of Ireland.
From Decisions and report of the jury of award, in the section on Koralek’s winning design:
It is placed in relation to the old Library and the Museum Building so that it naturally forms a courtyard between them which opens on to New Square and serves as an entrance court for both the old and new libraries. It also makes possible the development of a future quadrangle either in the Fellows’ Garden or the western end of College Park. As many as possible of the existing trees on the site have been preserved, and the southern part of the site remains available for future expansion.
5th May 1961: J.V. Luce, who had been a driving force in the quest to build a new library for Trinity, wrote to Paul Koralek to tell him he had been awarded first prize. Here we have Paul rereading a copy of that letter in October 2017:
At the start of the year, we looked at a vision of the “Library Extension” from 1957. That was produced in an attempt to give donors something to visualise in the allotted space rather than a serious proposition of what the design should be. But there are many other more fleshed-out might-have-beens from the completion to design the Library – if you are interested in what some of those looked like, the excellent Archiseek website has a page devoted to them. Continue reading “#43 What Might Have Been 2”
One of the great parts of Koralek’s design for the Berkeley is the podium before the building and vast area that lies beneath. The Library has been described as “like a photocopier with the bottom drawer pulled out” – you can see what that means if you look at the plans below, which include the subterranean part:
Hidden behind normal freestanding shelving holding books, the second floor of the Berkeley Library contains a number of slightly odd deep shelves – with rollers at the front! – dotted around the outer edge of the reading rooms. They are original parts of Koralek’s design, intended to house large map volumes – “atlas cases”. The maps are long gone but the empty shelves demonstrate Paul Koralek’s attention to detail.