The library plays a crucial role in fostering students’ independent learning and love for reading. In our design, we aimed to break away from the traditional rigid layout and serious atmosphere, and instead create a learning environment that caters to the diverse needs of individual students and offers limitless possibilities for growth and exploration.
The space planning of Baoshan library incorporates the design concept of “bubbles,” which are used to partition different functional areas in varying sizes. The rounded shape of the bubbles creates a safe environment for children by eliminating edges and corners, while the enveloping nature of the design concept provides a sense of security and comfort.
The 425-square-meter library space was designed with an innovative approach that employs a curved book wall to connect the columns and separate different functional areas. This technique not only breaks the rectangular monotony of the space, but also softens the harshness of the columns. To create distinct functional spaces, we incorporated different-sized bubbles, such as the entrance counter, electronic reading, free reading, interesting reading, interactive communication, book course, and fairy tale areas. Each area is clearly defined, yet seamlessly connected through the common design language of the “bubble” concept.
The design language of the library is based on the shape of bubbles, which is applied to different levels such as planes, ceilings, facades, furniture, and lamps, creating a visually rich and colorful space. The use of bubbles not only adds visual interest to the space, but also serves as a carrier for children to explore the ocean of knowledge.
The entrance features a door frame shaped like a bubble, complemented by curved walls on both sides that create a rhythmic sense and visually compress the overall space to expand it. Furthermore, the wall separating the free reading area from the fun reading area incorporates holes in the shape of bubbles of different sizes, serving as an engaging book wall that visually penetrates the fun space.
The book walls with curved openings and the combination of large and small bubble window and door openings create various levels of sight penetration that enhance mutual visual communication and form engaging frame effects. The design also extends the outdoor landscape to form a series of indoor landscapes that are visible from the bubble window frames and seat designs. The interpenetration and penetration of space are achieved through the use of the bubble door and window openings on the book wall, creating a fun and immersive experience.
Consistent with the overall “bubble” concept, we incorporated two ellipsoidal spaces of varying sizes into the interesting reading area, which creates a sense of ownership and privacy within the area for both children and parents. This unique design allows for a more relaxed and comfortable reading experience, where children can engage in free reading in their preferred posture.
The interactive communication area is equipped with several casual seating options, providing students with a comfortable space to discuss and collaborate. Bubble-shaped soft seating is interspersed along the book walls on both sides, offering children various engaging reading experiences.
The book course area is a versatile space where seats can be arranged according to various teaching requirements. The teaching blackboard features a bubble-shaped outline, and the ceiling takes on the form of a freshly blown bubble, encasing the reading course area. Adjacent to it is the fairy tale area for younger grades, elevated to separate the space from other functional areas, and its stepped shape offers students a more diverse range of reading possibilities.
Location: Baoshan District, Shanghai, China
Area: 465 ㎡
Status: Construction Complete
Design Finish Year: 2020
Completion Year: 2020