Mecanoo architecten teamed up with Artech architects, Taipei for their proposal for the Kaohsiung Library Competition. Their 38,000 sqm library, which will become the region’s main library, won second place. More images and complete press release after the break.
The Kaohsiung Library is articulated as a monumental 60 by 60 meter ‘green’ cube. Through the application of potted container plants that cover the entire façade, the building is transformed into a giant library garden. The multifunctional building opens onto SinGuang Boulevard and creates a cultural public square; complementing the ongoing development of other destinations around Kaohsiung Harbor, such as the Pop Music Center, the Exhibition and Convention Center and the Software Technology Park.
Surrounding, tall buildings and the library’s grand pergola provide the site with shade and shelter, as well as a place to rest within the hectic pace of the central business district of Kaohsiung. The ‘library garden’ offers spaces for activities, ranging from a playground to intimate reading areas, group study areas and a central multifunctional space connected to a children’s theater with flexible seating capacity for 400 to 1000. The library’s design creates public spaces that can be experienced collectively, as well as quiet spaces where visitors can get together to be alone, to read or study.
Mecanoo architecten is led by founding architect/creative director Francine M.J. Houben. With projects all over the world, the award-winning practice offers architecture, urban planning, landscape and interior design services. Mecanoo was recently awarded the Green GOOD design award from the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies for the Delft City Hall and Train Station. Other libraries designed by Mecanoo include the TU Delft Library and the Library of Birmingham in the UK which will be realised in 2013. Mecanoo is active in Kaohsiung having designed the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts, currently under construction and due for completion in 2013.