When embarking on the design of the Tainan Municipal Library, our team’s initial focus was on exploring the essence and purpose of a library in today’s information-rich world. With the abundance of digital information available, we asked ourselves what kind of space a library should be, and concluded that creating a physical space that offers a unique and meaningful experience for readers is more important than ever. Our design concept was centered around the idea of creating a grand and inspiring palace of knowledge, where visitors could immerse themselves in the joy of reading and learning.
We envisioned a palace of knowledge that resembles the classic library space, with two grand staircases surrounding the atrium. The open and airy design, along with the indirect skylight, creates a sacred atmosphere that evokes a sense of being close to knowledge. The bookshelves are strategically positioned on the ladders, with a height of 1.2m on the higher end and 2.1m on the lower end, allowing for a clear line of sight while looking down. The ladder also doubles as a reading seat, allowing readers to easily flip through books and read comfortably in place.
For the overall configuration, the first phase of the library (this project) primarily focuses on books and civic spaces facing the outside world. To improve space accessibility, the main space is limited to below the fifth floor, with smaller floor areas and more levels. The space division, roof skylights, and landscape pavement are all designed in accordance with the 840 cm grid modulus, creating a cohesive and rational size ratio relationship.
The first floor of the library is dedicated to functional spaces for the public, such as cultural and commercial spaces, catering, bookstores, art galleries, and classrooms for social learning activities. On the second floor, the west wing serves as a multi-functional learning area, while the east wing is dedicated to the library space, with a corridor bridge serving as the library information center. The new book area, periodical area, and administrative space are located next to the entrance. The third floor is dedicated to different age groups, with areas for youth, animation, children’s reading and gaming, seniors, and multimedia and digital learning. The fourth floor and above feature a large-scale reading space formed by a stepped platform, serving as a special area for general books, while the area below the platform is dedicated to data on local or special themes in Tainan. The platform serves as a partition for readers with different interests.
The façade material for the Tainan Municipal Library is a combination of clear-water concrete cast columns and beams, red bricks, and clear glass. This approach is both modern and unique for Tainan, while also reflecting the city’s climate and maintaining a reasonable window-to-wall ratio. The red bricks are laid in two different ways: staggered and stacked for solid walls, and with holes for lighting. The holes in the red bricks, along with the use of fixed iron parts, create interesting splicing effects. The roof skylight utilizes north-facing indirect light, which helps to create a comfortable reading environment and makes use of natural light for illumination.
Location: Tainan, Taiwan
Area: 42,000 ㎡
Status: Architectural Concept Competition
Competition Year: 2015