|As a print and book lover, it is very satisfying to be able to publish some spectacular library projects in this issue.
I grew up living next to a library so spending time there, whether revising for exams or just discovering books, became second nature to me. Of course, back then there was no such thing as Google and even home computers were only just becoming available to all (OK, I’m showing my age now) so visits to the library were commonplace for conscientious students like me!
A few years ago, well after I had left my home town for a career as a journalist, I was sad to discover that the library had closed down (although it recently got rehoused at the town bingo hall!). Without that library and the love it gave me for reading and writing I may well have gone on a different career path but here I am writing as an editor about some new libraries that have caught our eye as architecturally stunning buildings with lighting playing a crucial part in their success. Of course, the libraries of today need to diversify to survive (and indeed thrive) and it is the re-imagining of libraries as cultural hubs that has led to projects like Tianjin Binhai and The Word becoming realised.
And it’s ambitious projects like these that allow light to come to the fore. The lighting for both these projects, although not a huge part of their budgets, were crucial to their success as architectural icons in their own right. In Tianjin, China the flexible cove lighting radiates throughout the building’s curvaceous cavern around the glowing auditorium eye. The Word in South Shields, UK flies in the face of the government’s austerity programme to create a phenomenally successful cultural hub with a spectacular lighting centrepiece engineered in a cost effective way. It has been a pleasure to feature these projects and I hope you enjoy them too.