Riga Technical University International Architecture Summer School
Designed and built with 9 students, the Story Tower sits in the small city of Cēsis in a busy square between the train and bus station and the civic library and is built entirely from locally sourced and recycled materials – Timber and Tetra-Pak (milk cartons).
We sought to use the locally established concept of a free book exchange to create a dialogue between diverse groups and individuals of the town. A place where books could be deposited before making a journey, exchanged after finishing a journey or simply borrowed whilst waiting for a bus. The tower’s location is the precise point where local shifts taking place within the town are most visible. It is the front door step of Cēsis where the rhythm of the town is most exposed.
The form of the building was conceived as an urban scale lamp, providing light and a place to read 24 hours a day. During winter when day light is short the tower will act as an illuminated external reading room. The building is semi permanent and is designed to stand until the library re-opens in its refurbished premises in 18 months time.
Client: Cēsis City Council and Cēsis Library
Tutors: Theodore Molloy, Niklavs Paegle, Thomas Randall-Page
Students: Artūrs Tols (LV), Christof Nichterlein (DE), Dumitru Eremciuc (MD), Natascha Häutle (DE), Rūta Austriņa (LV), Signe Pelne (LV), Tanja Diesterhof (DE), Ulkar Orujova (AZ), Zoe Katsamani (GR).
Research Question: Our starting point was to understand the local social context for our construction, to study one aspect of change taking place in the town and to pick the place in the town where this change was most visible. We were interested to learn how a structure can be more than just an interesting art object but instead be something functional that continues to be used once we leave that is embedded in the local social life of the place, adopted by its residents.