Throughout history, humans have sought a sense of support and connection with the surrounding space to feel secure. In traditional landscape paintings, people often leaned against tree trunks to read books, while modern commuters on subways often find solace in a corner or a seat, immersed in their own world. With this in mind, at the start of our project, we considered an important question: when students enter a library, where would they choose to settle and lose themselves in the world of books?
The existing site posed a challenge and an opportunity for the design team due to the two pillars that could not be moved or ignored. We decided to integrate them into the design by wrapping them with bookshelves to create the effect of “trees” supporting a “canopy” ceiling. This innovative approach transformed the space beneath the “canopy” into an immersive reading area. The intersection of the “trees” also provides a space for people to communicate and share ideas. Semi-enclosed bookshelves were used as space partitions to prevent any interference between different reading areas.
The bookshelves shaped like mountains are arranged along the walls, metaphorically representing the distant mountains in the forest. Together with the blue walls suggesting the sky, an infinite artistic conception is created within the limited interior space.
For many primary and secondary school students, this library may be the first step towards a lifelong journey of learning and acquiring knowledge. The inquiry and reference space at the entrance helps students develop good habits and establish a foundation for independent learning. The background wall behind the front desk not only serves as a visual barrier, but also helps to separate the noisy outside space from the immersive space inside the library.
To accommodate various usage scenarios, such as group discussions, group reading classes, immersive reading, leisure reading, and free discussions, we have incorporated a variety of seating arrangements to make the space more flexible and adaptable to the needs of teachers and students.
In primary and secondary school, cultivating a reading habit is crucial, and the environment can greatly influence this by creating a sense of immersion, providing positive feedback, and instilling a love for learning. Our design aims to move away from traditional and formal library layouts and instead create a space that is flexible, free, and fosters a learning environment where children can read with ease and grow without constraints. The flowing design and open space will allow students to explore and unleash their full potential for individual growth.
Location: Qingpu District, Shanghai, China
Area: 410 ㎡
Status: Construction Complete
Design Finish Year: 2020
Completion Year: 2020