Singapore‘s new Bedok Public Library, housed in the integrated civic hub Heartbeat@Bedok, occupies the site of a park that was a neighbourhood focal point since the 1960s. The new library now faces the location of its predecessor, as a nod towards its past, and significance as an enduring third space for the community.
It embraces the ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Library in a park’ concepts, targeting new families and senior residents alike, promotes a conducive yet enjoyable learning experience for all users. For a pleasant reading atmosphere, natural light from the surrounding windows are dispersed efficiently, while desk lights are catered for the elderly areas on the first level. Utilities are provided to the aged such as Large Print, inclined bottom shelves and electronic magnifiers; handrails are provided in most areas, even within the shelves.
Meanwhile, the second level is dedicated to the younger generation with whimsical yet functional park-themed fixtures such as placemark mushrooms, birdhouses and even burrow-like shelves. In fact, the furniture was analysed cognitively with the youth in mind; the ergonomic shelves for the specific age group, signage atop the shelves for easy wayfinding. An adaptable library to suit different area requirements, it also features movable furniture and partitions, to facilitate a large event, or two concurrent programmes.
Digital upgrades such as e-newspapers, global archives, language translators and Integrated Digital Bookshelves, showcase Bedok Public Library as a pragmatic design with technology; drastically improving the user experience for residents in Bedok town, across all age groups.