This dynamic civic building is a landmark in the town centre and provides a number of essential county services under one roof.
Artist Gordon Young collaborated with other creative individuals to develop a ‘forest’ – a site-specific work spread throughout the new building. Another artist, Anna Sandberg, held a series of workshops with library users to gather information about favourite books, places and memories. Young then took this information and worked with the typographers Why Not Associates to design a series of 14 solid oak columns.
This was all about contrast for me. This contrast of the material, and the contrast of perception against apparent imperfection. I chose these particular oaks for their straightness but set against the planes and lines of the building they reveal a contrast of organic bends and kinks which I like. With the help of the architects we chose to place them in areas where they look structural – (within a library filled with stories) it’s another element of suspended disbelief. Gordon Young, Artist
Each column uses a different font and focusses on a particular subject. These range from the opening sentence of a Harry Potter novel to a selection from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The columns were then sandblasted by the craftsman Russell Coleman and left untreated, creating a striking visual contrast to the modern design of the building itself.