Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design
Chongqing, China
  • Architects: PH Alpha Design
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  28064
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Structural Form: frame shear wall structure, tube truss structure and steel structure
  • Number Of Buildings: 4 floors on the ground, 1 floors in the ground
  • Awards: Asia Pacific Property Awards 2016-2017 - 5 Stars Best Public Service Architecture China, A&D China Awards 2018 - Best Public Space
  • Chief Architect: Ziping Xu
  • Design Team: Ziping Xu, Jianzhao Wu, Xu Li, Leixin Luo, Jiachen Wang, Junda Xiang
  • City: Chongqing
  • Country: China
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Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Facade
day view. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

Text description provided by the architects. The new Library of Chongqing Real Estate College will provide the Campus with an iconic landmark providing much-needed facilities for study and research for teachers and students alike. The site of the project is located in the center of Chongqing Real Estate College Campus. It is surrounded with academic buildings in the north, a sports stadium in the south, student dormitories to the east, and a site reserved for the future Technology & Science Hall on the west. The most prominent feature on the site, a bronze memorial statue of Zhou Enlai the First Prime Minister of PRC, is located on the central axle on the north of the site.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Facade
night view. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

The entrances located on the northern and southern-west side. The cargo entrance was located on the east. To allow the building to be accessible underground, a sunken plaza is created on the western side. 

Design of the Architecture form and facade
The library is a container for knowledge and a guiding light towards wisdom. The design is developed from the elegant form of a lantern flower, drawing people towards enlightenment.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Lighting, Facade, Arch
lighting effect. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

The design of the library originates from the organic form of the lantern flower. Just like the flower, the design is designed to be elegant and charming both internally and externally. Adjacent to the surrounding education buildings and the student dormitory, the library stands out as a focus and becomes a landmark of the campus. The curves of the library, extracted from the lantern flower, generates a form that elegantly energizes users and refreshes the user experience. The North main entrance is situated at the end of the campus axis, unifying the campus overall fabric.

design concept

The center of the library is comprised of multiple oval shaped profiles. Just like the pistol in the lantern flower, the core of the building is connected through a featured spiral staircase. This modern building incorporates traditional features such as a series of bold sympathetic massing elements that flow into each other to reflect the symbolic Lantern Flower. Light is introduced into the inside of the building in a controlled way to enrich the users' experience while ensuring that the primary function of reading, study and research is not compromised.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Facade
lighting effect. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

Each side of the library responds to its surrounding with different architectural gestures and feature spaces. An imposing concrete roof wraps over the building from the east down to the ground to create a solid wall on the north as a backdrop for the memorial status. This wall protects the main entrance area behind in the same manner as that of a screen-wall in traditional Chinese architecture.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Image 8 of 32
lighting effect. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

The façade mainly contains four elements: glass curtain wall; light stripe walls perforated aluminum panels and beige stone wall. The façade is double skinned with a glazed mesh and an internal layer of either timber panels or fritted glass in a variety of different patterns. Light stripes following the curvature roof is also designed with a wrapping shape detail to allow a smooth gradation light effect. A continuous surface made of timber strips folds from the roof in the building and wraps along the floor plates to provide both shades for the reading areas, and, block direct sunlight into the work station areas.

campus plan analysis

Floor Plan and Functions
The building has four floors above ground and one floor below, with 6m from L1 to L4. The total height of the building is 24m. The principles of functional distribution are ‘dynamic zone below, while quite a zone above’ vertically, as well as ‘open on southwestern and close on the east’.  Balancing natural and artificial light requires a great deal of research, testing and refining to ensure that the primary requirement of reading at the correct lighting levels for all users is achieved while ensuring that the new environment feels open, healthy, invigorating, energizing and welcoming.

ground floor plan

The functional distribution of each layer takes full account of the openness and efficiency of modern libraries and the adoption of new technologies and new management methods. The layout of the library is compact and organized, and the traffic organization is convenient and smooth. In the distribution of the collection area, the reading area, the leisure reading area, the private reading area, and the discussion area, the convenience, and efficiency of the association, management, and inspection of the functional areas are considered. 

Space Design
Main Entrance
The north is the main entrance of the library. On the protected side of the wall, a forest of bamboo stems lines this transitional entrance space that separates the noisy exterior with the quiet interior. The oval-shaped cut out on the roof provides light which casts a moving screen of bamboo shadows on the wall during the daytime to create a dramatic, dynamic and lively space at the prime entrance.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Facade
main entrance. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

Atrium Space
The lifestyle is now completely different. The concept of cross-border has been integrated into almost all forms of life and behavior. There are art galleries and commercial activities inside the library.” As an experience design firm who understand how to utilize the space.PHA has applied commercial atrium and catering service space design in this project.

central atrium analysis

In the center of the building, an oval atrium combines with a continuous spiral staircase to connect each floor. The five floors open up towards this central atrium, allowing the library’s visitors to visually engage with what is happening on the other floors. On the 4th floor, an open roof garden with dining facilities is created to allow users to enjoy the view of the whole campus.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Image 4 of 32
central atrium. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

Interior Design
Interior design combines architectural design elements with "book" elements, enriches its connotation, extends architectural design language to indoor space, achieves integration and unity, and creates a relaxed and pleasant reading and communication space. The main entrance hall in the north is 18 meters high. The graceful curve is outlined with simple lines. The red membrane structure "lantern" highlights the visual guidance and focus of the space. 

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Lighting, Windows, Chair
main entrance interior. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

The interior design of the function area takes into account the influence of sunlight and landscape on reading, and the reading area ensures the corresponding privacy. According to the characteristics of each reading area, good spatial segmentation can effectively avoid adverse factors in reading. Open shelf Reading and reading along the window to ensure personal privacy, avoid too much cross with others; leisure reading area enriches the reading experience by setting different scales of group discussion room and personal study room. The different combination of furniture reflects the cross-interaction of modern academic and social activities, in order to meet a variety of different parties of different work and learning needs.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Windows, Chair
entrance hall. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

Roof Design
The outer roof of the north side is made of the aluminum plate which is with parallelogram shape. It forms the sawtooth plane effect through the change of the plane angle and forms rich light and shadow changes in the sun. In detail design, every two groups of aluminum plates intersected at the angle of the sunset a short LED light belt. Two pieces of the aluminum plate in front of the opening open a transparent acrylic plate inside the LED lamp belt to create a waterfall effect at night. 

Shadow effect of the entrance space

Inside the big roof, we use the concept of "starry sky" to describe students exploring the unknown world. The elliptical opening of the roof is like the center of the galaxy. The star is surrounded by the center to form the pattern of the galaxy. The closer the star is, the denser the stars are. In order to complete this design intention, we use the "petals" and "round" motif, through the change of density, designed four patterns on the perforated aluminum plate, through careful design and layout, the formation of the "nebula" like pattern. All aluminum plates are spliced with the length and width of 2000mmX1200mm as standard units, including four patterns of perforated aluminum plates and a solid aluminum plate. The five patterns constitute the pattern of the inner surface of the north house.

Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design - Facade
roof detail. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

Four patterns of perforated plates are divided into four patterns according to the degree of porosity of ABCD. On this basis, we also set up four patterns of A 'B' C 'D' corresponding to 180 degrees of perforation aluminum plate related to ABCD. The layout of the lamp is as high as possible, and it is distributed evenly behind the perforated panel. The higher the perforation rate is, the more lights will be placed behind the aluminum plate. In heavy construction, we let the workers randomly arrange each perforated aluminum plate in a positive or 180-degree arrangement, avoiding the effect of a large number of repeated patterns on the vision.

roof ceiling aluminum panel design

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Project location

Address:Chongqing City University City, Chongqing, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Chongqing Real Estate College Library / PH Alpha Design" 14 Jun 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

night view. Image Courtesy of PH-Alpha Design

重庆房地产职业学院图书馆设计 / 湃昂国际建筑设计顾问

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