Brain Project by Bollingen

Brain Project

As the ancient belief about microcosm and macrocosm that architecture shall resemble the order of body containing the secret of the structure of the universe, the design proposal for the library in Songdo S. Korea, inspired by the form and the function of the human ‘brain’, is to create an Artificial Brain as a new typology of the public library in the revolutionary era of information technology.

As a brain, not only the library guides people to find information and knowledge by apps and devices, but sub-consciously communicates with people through various architectural languages helping to discover the hidden treasures in their mind. Architectural archetypes sub-consciously connected with the human brain in history, which are Trees, Booktonic, Labyrinth, and Deep Forest, are reinterpreted, merged, and transformed into a Living Brain. Trees were the first wise-being in primitive society.

People believed that big trees and the surrounding places have spiritual power as sensors and connectors between humans and Truth, and still in people’s deep sub-consciousness, the Trees as the archetype of the connector is alive. Also, it is often used as an analogy to the Neurons of the brain in terms of the structure (leaves-trunks and cell bodies-axons) and the function as sensor-connector.
Booktonic is a combination word of Book and Tectonic we made. In many fantasy novels and paintings, we may easily find a library with walls of endless height filled with books.

Books (in bookcases) and knowledge do not exist separately from the building, but rather become the construction material stacked and merged into magical living architecture. So, the Booktonic, walls made by memories and information, are used as the symbol of the brain, infinite storage of time and knowledge in both consciousness and sub-consciousness. Bent and folded complicatedly, the Cortex in the human brain reminds us of the Labyrinth that is the most critical place for people to go through to attain knowledge.

The process is similar to the adventure of a Hero: first, the hero is lost their way in the labyrinth; they also face unexpected difficulties and threats that seem not to be able to be overcome; but, then with some critical help from supporters and wise men, the hero finds a way to the victory and arrives at the land of knowledge. The complex arrangement of walls in the proposal makes people lose their way, to start their adventure, and with the support of Library AI, to find their treasure. ‘Network’ is the most important characteristic of the brain. The brain is composed of networks of neurons.

Through the forest of information, various data about senses, emotions, actions, or languages are flow connected to each other. The deep forest, as the metaphor of the network system as brain, brings the network of trees, animals, trails, sunlight, wind, soils, and human to the site. It works as one organism, fully equipped with sensors and communication devices that central AI can simultaneously monitor and communicate with people, and find the optimized balance between various components. Source by Bollingen.

  • Location: Songdo, South Korea
  • Architect: Bollingen
  • Design Team: Soobum You, Ivan Heredia, Daniel Heredia, Jae Chung
  • Concrete Design Consulting: Gemwelove
  • Sustainability Consulting: GreenWell Studio
  • Year: 2021
  • Photographs: Tim Dongho Yun, Courtesy of Bollingen

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