Located in the University of Hong Kong precinct, Novum West appeals to academia-minded individuals seeking an urban retreat.
Two main drivers highlight the design of Bibliotheca, Novum West’s residents club. As a spatial journey, Bibliotheca connects the street-level entrance with the tower’s elevator lobbies. A seamless indoor and outdoor experience is amplified with direct visual access of the swimming pool and outdoor terrace through the club’s entrance. Inside, the club is a free-flowing, horizontally-planned space where functions mingle and merge. Featuring Leisure and Active wings, the layout is designed so that activities can be easily accessed without the need to pass through enclosed rooms.
Architecturally, Bibliotheca takes its volumetric approach from classical libraries, such as the Library of Trinity College in Dublin, or Salle Labrouste of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris. These extravagant academic spaces have several elements in common: drastic, sweeping ceilings, walls and pillars lined with books, matched with localized, low-level lighting to evoke a mood. To reimagine these qualities, a series of asymmetrical pyramidal vaults are created for the ceiling. Geometrical slots are designed as patterns adorning the vaults while concealing essential services and utilities. Under the decorative ceiling are two elements that define the club’s overall design language - metal grilles that recall library book shelves, and intricately-laid stone tiles that transform into a triangular-patterned timber floor.
Functionally, Bibliotheca wraps around the club’s 25-meter swimming pool and outdoor space with uninterrupted views. On one side lie the Leisure spaces, which include a fireside lounge, semi-private work and study areas, and a meeting room. Active spaces are positioned on the opposing end, boasting a range of social amenities - from a pool table, foosball and darts, to a party room for private events. All of the spaces are anchored by Ophelia Jacarini’s hand-painted wall mural depicting social exchanges. A fully-kitted gym and changing rooms extend beyond this area to complete the full clubhouse experience.