Architect: Gansam Architects & Associates Location: Seoul, Korea Project Architect: Taijip Kim Design team: Kiyoung Han, Mijung Kim, Myunghee Jang, Sun A Park, Kyungsu Jeong Project Year: 2007-2010 Photographs: Gansam Architects & Associates
The massing started off with gently curved form which seeks to welcome the student body of Myongji University and harmonizes in its surrounding of residential area and other university facilities. The square mass was subsequently inserted to serve as the functional zones to contain the books. The curvilinear outer skin comes to life with U-GLASS, and the square mass is expressed with wood (IPE) that relates to the nature off books, paper, and bookshelves. U-Glass doesn’t directly reflect light, but filters light to create a warm and comfortable ambience; wood ages, similar to books, and archives the flow of time in its materiality.
The interactive garden is the big lobby that connects 1F-4F, and is designed to become a liberating space, unlike the traditional libraries of silence and restriction, and is filled with liveliness from skylights filtering natural light and interior gardens.
1st floor is divided into two major zones, reading zone, and seminar zone. A psychological barrier between the two zones is established via 60cm of floor height difference, and the lobby serves the role of merging, and separating the two zones. One can easily see the diverse areas of the library while ascending via the emphatic interior staircase and the glass elevator, which add much dynamism to the library designed to serve as the vessel of activities of the students, 2nd floor holds both students’ study zone and administration facilities; there are 14 study rooms and the Bangmok memorial exhibition on the second floor.
3rd floor is connected to the Student Center via a deck that serves as an additional main entrance, is contains diverse collection of books, dissertations, and periodicals. There are also education rooms, a small auditorium, multi-media facilities, and a UCC studio.
4th floor is also arranged similarly, with more space allocated to serve as open study spaces, available in forms of round tables, window-side seats, lobby-facing desks, and seating staircases.
The void spaces of each floor are meant to be staggered, so that from edge of each floor, one can see the floors below. Spatial diversity created via changes in floor and ceiling heights make up this unconventional, yet user-friendly library filled with comfortable and memorable spaces.