Steven Holl Architects has unveiled their design for a new public library and museum in a developing area of Shenzhen, China. With the goal of creating a public space with two buildings connected below the plaza level, the massing concept is based on a three-part removal. While the design did win the most votes from the jury in the overall competition, city officials chose a different scheme to continue with.
From the museum’s horizontal mass, which follows the optimal museum typology for optimal light and circulation, the volume of the library is subtracted to create the central museum courtyard and a figural shape for the library.
Similarly, “from the central body of the library, the mechanical book [stack] leaves a clear glass void cut marking the double front entrances facing east and west.”
The shape of the library is derived from the “Pot-ear” walls of Lingnan architecture, creating a relationship with the sky and ground and marking the library as a contrast to the surrounding rectangular neighborhood.
Overall, the design involves a great deal of natural lighting and additionally incorporates solar photovoltaic cells into the museum’s roof, which are tilted at an optimal southern-facing angle to collect 99 percent of the energy need to operate the buildings.
Continuing on a trend of environmentalism, rainwater on both the museum and the library’s roof is collected and recycled in the plaza’s reflecting pools and fountains. Geothermal cooling and radiant flooring bring the entire complex to a LEED Platinum rating.
Learn more about the project here.
News via Steven Holl Architects.