The LEED Gold Anna Centenary Library located in Kotturpuram, India is the largest library in Asia and one of the most sustainable. The cavernous space can accommodate well over a thousand readers at a time and 1.5 million books. The design by C.R. Narayana Rao makes the most of the outdoor light with lots of windows to the north-east, skylights and an outdoor amphitheater on the roof. InsideLED lights illuminate a huge indoor auditorium, cafeteria, and the many reading and research areas.

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The library was built from the ground up with conservation in mind. Special care was taken to select sustainable materials – “more than 60%… are locally sourced and recyclable.” That’s a good thing because this building is really big — it spans 9 floors and 333,000 square feet, including a 50,000 square foot auditorium and a separate 15,000 square foot children’s library. Two amphitheaters (one on top of the auditorium) and two conference halls make the space suitable for hosting a wide range of events.

Natural lighting is a key player in the design, as are large windows facing the north and east to provide the best light without introducing heat. The south utilizes shading and vegetation to create heat buffer zones. Other windows are well shaded, and carefully planned skylights help light infiltrate deep in the interior. Waste water is reused on the grounds. and naturally educational material is placed throughout the space to raise awareness of how the building works.

+ C.R. Narayana Rao

Via Saint-Gobain Glass