We won a competition to design a children's library in Hanjiang, Fujian Province, for the Western Sunshine Rural Development Foundation's Read, Dream & Create Plan. The project requires us to transform a 90-square-meter classroom, which is currently owned by the local NGO Jinlin Social Work Service Center, into a children's library with construction time of 2 weeks and very tight budget. This library design will be used as a prototype for a series of foundation’s future projects.
Due to the tight budget, limited fabricating skillset of the volunteers, and the needs of NGOs for various programs, we adopt prefabricated modular furniture system that can be easily assembled and disassembled to create 6 interconnected enclosed space - six valleys. Each valley carries different functions under the height of 1.2 meters. Open space can be easily achieved by moving a few modules to combine the six valleys. The height of all furniture is set below the wall skirt, which will not only bring in the natural light, but also help adults to keep an eye on children at any time. The division on the layout enriches the layers of spatial experience, and defines many enclosed corners, which will satisfy both children's desire for exploration and sense of security.
BLOOCK is a word we created by combining BOOK and BLOCK. The collision between these two common things triggered new meanings in our project. Similarly, this project comes from our collision with the foundation, NGO, furniture factory, contractors, and volunteers. Making books accessible to children who live in rural area of China can protect the little virgin valley in their mind. The consolidated help from different groups of people will develop the pro bono projects further.
After the library's completion, the space carries much more programs than what we have expected in the beginning, such as exhibitions concerts etc. This library become an important children activity base in Hanjiang. As a low-cost, short construction period, and duplicatable renovation system specifically designed for children, we hope that The BLOOCK Valley would vibrantly accommodate different situations, and provide a viable way of thinking to set up and renovate rural children‘s reading space.