Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects have just scooped first place in a competition to design China's newly expanded Ningbo Central Library. Located in the historic, coastal city of Ningbo, the Central Library will form a new cultural hub in the heart of the town's newest development area. Commissioned as part of an initiative to boost visitor numbers, the library will boast over 2 million books, including the largest collection of historic and ancient books in the city.
To accommodate an anticipated twofold increase in daily visitors, Schmidt Hammer Lassen organized the library’s new extension into an open plan layout with 3,000 new study spaces. Located next to an ecological wetland area, the 33,000 square foot library also features large floor-to-ceiling glass windows to create strong visual connections between the library and the surrounding park space.
At the heart of the library, a light-filled atrium acts as the central hub for activity and includes study desks, Internet stations and reading booths. Natural daylight and ventilation will be maximized throughout the building to build off of passive design principles. The library’s exposed concrete will also help maintain optimal thermal stability throughout the year.
Ningbo New Library will mark Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s latest library design in their impressive and long list of libraries. The library is slated for completion in 2016.