While most libraries tend to be filled with nothing more than books, the new VAC library (an abbreviation of the Vietnamese words for Garden, Pond and Cage) in Hanoi is teeming with koi fish and greenery. Vietnamese firm Farming Architects has built the the new open-air library with an impressive aquaponic system to teach the kids about urban farming.

building made of wooden framing with greenery

chilldren reading a book inside a wooden framed building

Located in a Hanoi neighborhood, the VAC Library is an immense structure comprised of wooden frames with various cubicles filled with books. However, within the almost 600 square feet library is an integrated production system that was designed to teach kids about sustainable food production.

a child sits in a cubby hole reading

various items in a large wooden frame

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According to the architects, the library is designed to show children how energy from land, air, water and solar energy can be harvested in order to be completely self-sufficient even within an urban context, “The aim is not only to produce an effective use of natural resources but also favorite experimentation in using different types of plants and animals in the urban environment.”

building made of wooden framing with greenery and ponds

children peering into a pond

At the heart of its design, the VAC library relies on aquaponic systems to provide a sustainable model. The structure’s fish pond provide nutrients to the plants, which in return purify the water. Built with energy conservation in mind, the system runs on a few pumps powered by solar energy, which also provides the electricity for the lighting system as well.

a small child reads on a concrete bench in a wooden building

building made of wooden framing with greenery

In addition to its impressive sustainable systems, the VAC library is a center of learning. Besides reading the many books on offer, local children enjoy learning about the way that the fish in the ponds are so vital to the vegetable planters and so on. There are also chickens on site whose eggs are used for meals and their waste used as fertilizer for the center’s gardens.

+ Farming Architects

Via Archdaily

Photography by Thai Thach and Viet Dung An via Farming Architects

green plants hanging from wooden framing

building made of wooden framing with greenery

building made of wooden framing with greenery

building made of wooden framing with greenery