There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book. Brooklyn-based nARCHITECTS imbues those feelings of comfort into their design of “Library As Home,” the winning entry in the 110,000-square-meter Shanghai Library East Hall competition held by the city government. The cylindrical library draws inspiration from Chinese traditional architecture and culture while maintaining a contemporary design.
In addition to winning first prize in the Shanghai government’s 2016 International Young Architects Design Competition, “Library As Home” recently won a Jury Prize from the 2017 Architizer A+Awards in the Institutional Unbuilt category. “Library as Home, envisions a library as a large house for all, with a rich variety of environments that Shanghai’s citizens could appropriate as their own,” said Eric Bunge, co-principal at nARCHITECTS.
Connection with nature was emphasized in the design. The architects connect each of the library’s four open levels to exterior gardens and views of the city, while natural light flows into the building from all sides. The slightly staggered four levels comprise the Patio, Living Room, Atelier, and Study. A variety of spaces are offered, from private and quiet study areas to open spaces geared to social gatherings.
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The cylindrical library is envisioned with a checkered pattern facade that draws inspiration from terra-cotta printing blocks. The tiled facade would feature a glazed exterior to reference the pages of a book and the opposite side that faces the interior would be left unglazed to show off the natural terra-cotta color. The library’s compact urban form extends a large street level and sub-surface plinth below the park level to minimize the footprint of parking and to open up the area for landscaped public space.