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Arch orsini alvarez davila fa19 ex3 2

Libromat

he proposal posits a new typology: a laundromat-library, derived from the relationship between private labor and public space in the laundromat and from recent studies that show that books in laundromats can improve childhood literacy. The laundromat is a place of under-valorized labor that straddles the boundary between public and private, but which is banished from the public sphere. In contrast to this quasi-domestic, gendered and classed space, the library represents an architecture of public discourse. This new typology thus promises to challenge conceptions of public space from which domestic labor is excluded. The library-laundromat could be adapted to any location, but it was situated inside Renzo Piano’s Forum, corroding the glass facade at the corner of 125th Street and Broadway, the university’s gesture of transparency toward surrounding communities. Thus situated, it straddles the boundary between the public and private, challenging notions of public space, and hierarchies of labor.