Newer Orleans


Mediatheque, USA, 2005

This project aims to understand the building as a tool in re-establishing a balanced ecology between culture and commerce. It is a type of ‘playground’; a safe haven where participants can congregate without fear of reprisal and a setting that people transiently share. In this design, the ancient ziggurat motif is transformed into a design model that combines various public and private programs in a stepped series of radically different environments: sun-seeking versus shadow-rich, open versus enclosed, serrated profile versus smooth elevation. The mediatheque, which stores and preserves information of all types, forms part of a network of new community centers dedicated to learning and culture. The mediatheque is also a hub: a place for meeting and exchange, with differently themed landscaped plateaus that garland the building.

Client: NAI, the Netherlands
Building area: Building 20,000 m2 Outside area 6,000 m2
Programme: Research study
Status/phase: Design


Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Tobias Wallisser with Miklos Deri, Holger Hoffmann, Katrien Otten, Eric den Eerzamen, Khoi Tran, Katrin Haertel