“Library as Home” is the 1st prize-winning concept design submission for the 2016 International Young Architects Design Competition for the 120,000m2 Shanghai Library East Hall. The competition, which generated over 200 entries, was held by Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Government, aimed at enhancing Shanghai’s unique cultural influence and promoting qualities of public lives. The library proposal entitled “Library as Home” envisions a library that feels like a large house for all, with a rich variety of environments that Shanghai’s citizens could appropriate as their own. As such, our design is inspired by the intimate connections between people, media and nature in libraries of the ancient world.
As with the two distinct environments in Tian Yi Ge, the scheme is characterized by open floors that connect library activities to nature and the city beyond, and compact floors that store a wide range of information formats and supporting functions. These open and compact floors have been organized as four pairs, thereby simplifying the public’s understanding of this large building as a home for all. Multiple environments for social interaction, reading, research, archiving, and public amenities are in this way distributed across these two distinct spatial types.
Four open levels provide distinct library environments, each connected to exterior gardens at every level, as well as to each other, resulting in a continuous public interior. Supported – both structurally and programmatically - by the compact levels below, we imagine these open floors to function as the city’s Patio, Living Room, Atelier and Study: a Library as Home.