The ‘2016 Shanghai City Major Cultural Facilities International Young Architects Design Competition’ sought to create 3 significant cultural institutions (a new museum, library and theatre) as part of the city’s “Five-Year Plan” development model.
Decibel’s entry – the Shanghai Library East Hall – is an exploration of the library as a collider of ideas. Exuberant floor plates, formally informed by axes of site connections and markers, tectonically shift as they rise 9 stories. A ‘loop of infinite knowledge’, comprised of dual staircases, criss-crosses upwards in the main oculus of the building, and weaves together the disparate programmatic requirements of the brief. Multi-layered veils of iridescent glass then provides weather protection, whilst also imbuing an amorphous softness to an otherwise behemoth structure.