Text description provided by the architects. How can we build a tall modern building that reflects the past? We want to get away with the idea of a glass tower. With the use of brick walls, timber and metal screens, the design signifies the idea of civic building with a piazza as a place for gathering, establishing a connection with its roots yet modern at the same time. The spatial concept is inspired by the Chinese traditional cabinet, a kind of multipurpose storage space for books, as well as open shelves to display porcelain and bonsai. By incorporating terraces that mediate the outdoor and indoor environments, the design re-interprets the traditional elements in a contemporary way.
By reflecting upon the watch tower of the nearby village that combines natural earthly materials that harmonize with the lower structures, we establish our design idea through the DNA of the nearby Chinese vernacular tradition of Ping Shan Heritage Trail. The building accommodates two main functions: a public library and an indoor recreation centre (IRC).
Metal frames, timber screens and steel lattices offer varying degrees of transparency and permeability, while Chinese bricks and fair-faced concrete present the feeling of sturdiness and stability in contrast. In collaboration with the terraces interconnected by stairs at the periphery, they unite the internal functions three-dimensionally and maximize the multiple connections between these outdoor rooms.