A Prototype for an Outdoor Reading Room

Clare Lyster with John Leano

Client: Exhibit Columbus 
Team: CLUAA with ACH Foam Technologies

Foamscape is a proposed installation for the plaza of the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library (I.M. PEI 1969) in Columbus, Indiana that offers an exterior reading space ---a reading rug--for library users and the general public as well as a space to collect for formal and informal events. Measuring 38’ x 40’, it comprises 38 reclined seats that are laser cut from a Geofoam mass, whose form comes from studies of both Le Corbusier’s famous Chaise-Longue LC4 (1930) and the Eames, Lounge Chair (1956). The proposal uses (or misuses) a material used in landscape applications, as Geofoam is typically deployed as filling below ground, rather than a finished material. The foam allows the landscape to be soft and spongy to touch and very safe to occupy, while the mass allows continuity between the surface and seating allowing the project to be experienced as one undulating groundscape.

Clare Lyster Urbanism and Architecture (CLUAA) 2023 — Chicago, Illinois