Designed as a social landmark, the proposal for the Daegu Gosan Public Library by Group8 is to be seen as an open entity, welcoming and willing to share its content. Located in a district with high educational standards, the library will become one of the main cultural facilities of the neighborhood, open to everyone. It will offer all the classic functions of a library but with a strong community identity and convenient amenities. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The new library won’t just be a place to read and learn – it will be a place to meet, a place to share ideas and a place to spend quality time. Every generation will be welcome, free to explore the library and to use its different media. Its public character will be most visible where the “knowledge room” meets the “forum” – an open space that invites users to come and share in the community. Every neighborhood needs a landmark, a spatial and spiritual center for the community, and the Daegu Gosan Public Library site offers this. It will exploit the “green character” of the area, fully integrating the existing green belt of the surrounding landscape into the library’s environs.
Rounded urban furniture that moves towards the entrance of the library will capture the flow from these surroundings. Benches of different shapes and sizes will mingle with bushes and tree planters; situated on light-grey concrete coatings, these “islands” will create virtual limits to the new plaza.
Extending from Dalgubeol main road and into the library, this public space will become “the forum” – a place of exchange, discussion and sharing. From here, interplay of platforms, sloped slabs and mezzanines will provide a link to the “knowledge room”, which will house the reading areas and collections for both adults and children. With the different levels of the building being visually open, this space combines a grand scale with a sense of belonging – a self-contained cultural world with divergent views, dynamic perspectives and a calm and creative ambience.
The plaza is located in front of the building and extends into it, creating a unified space that visually mixes the indoor and outdoor. Appearing to float above the ground, the library itself will have an immaterial connection to its environment and invite pedestrians to discover it. The circular urban furniture situated outside, is mirrored on the inside in the main hall, in its desk, seats and low furniture. “The forum” will house the library’s reception desk, where customers will find the center’s cultural and social program, as well as the check out / return point, touch screen guidance points, the lounge café, study rooms and the newspaper reading room.
The multi-purpose room, located in the basement for acoustic and flow reasons, will be directly accessible from the main staircase, without disturbing any of the library’s other functions. This main hall, visually open to the surroundings, offers the flexibility of space for welcome exhibitions and artistic installations. The title “forum” certainly evokes its traditional meaning of central meeting point and place of culture and debate.
The upper part of the building is composed of a series of platforms organized around a central void. This “knowledge room”, can be divided up depending on the needs of its users. It provides a welcome point to all the “quiet areas” of the library: the general reading room, the general collection room, the digital data corner and the area for children. The interior layout can be moved and transformed easily, according to the evolutionary design of the library. The “mezzanine” plays the role of “vertical extension” of the main atrium, offering privacy, intimacy, and a space for contemplation.
The “knowledge room” is designed as a unified whole, with slabs going up and down that create an interior promenade. Its labyrinthine scheme with links between the different sections reflects the pathways inside the library and between its departments. Every platform along the sloped slabs offers an extra degree of privacy, providing a corner for everyone. This flexible organization integrates the traditional library collection with opportunities for housing new technological features. Inside the light is abundant and homogenous, creating an ideal reading environment.
The dynamic movement of platforms will enhance the feeling of belonging to a community. The different areas of the library are interlinked by the “fast circulation ring” (that avoids disturbing the different platforms) and by the vertical circulation of the central core. This large overview of the whole space encourages the sharing of knowledge, skills and information. All spaces provide the best of service for users of any age or physical disorder. The connections between the different areas also remove the traditional visual barriers that exist in a classically organized library. They link the different users under the one same roof, becoming a visual and physical “unifier” for every type and generation of user.
Due to its spaciousness and through the liberty of movement, the new library gives an atmosphere of creativity. The library has an identity of its own: open, dynamic, connected and easy-going. The library is no longer a “closed box” dedicated merely to the storage and distribution of books and information. It is a “space of creativity” where users can edit, play and share experiences. The users become actors in an open and connected world; the space, equipped with modern technology, offers increasingly versatile access to its resources and transforms according to the needs of the users.
The bright and light character of the space is made possible by the combination of three cores that intersect every storey. The roof slab, from which the floor slabs are suspended, is held together with a two storey high lattice girder that wraps around the whole space. As the ground-floor facades are recessed, they offer total transparency, encouraging people from every side to visit the library. Above, around the “knowledge room”, a uniform façade made of glass surrounds the space and affirms its “non-oriented” character. Allowing viewers to perceive the monumental structure, the glass layer is protected by a system of oriented fins, reacting to the environment and exposure to the sun.
The general character is white, expressing a neutral and pure character, almost immaterial. The “Daegu Gosan Public Library” aims to become a model of design that is synonymous with the ideal place for reading, learning and sharing.
Architects: Group8 Location: Daegu, South Korea Client: Deagu Metropolitain City Suseong-gu Office Program: 3,000m2 of cultural spaces, education facilities and library areas Project Type: International Competition Project Year: 2012