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Tainan Public Library / Mecanoo + MAYU Architects

Tainan Public Library / Mecanoo + MAYU Architects

© Ethan Lee© Ethan Lee© Ethan Lee© Ethan Lee+ 40

Rende District, Taiwan (ROC)
  • Design Principal:Francine Houben (Mecanoo), Malone Chang, Yu-lin Chen (MAYU Architects)
  • Design Team:Rodrigo Louro, Friso van der Steen, Rodrigo Bandini, Johan Hanegraaf, Rachel Lin, Yuli Huang, Yuanyuan Chen, Natalia Leszcynska, George Orfanopoulos, Antonio Sanna, Wanjen Lin, Yunying Chiu, Tsailing Shih, Eliano Felicio, Nienke Andersson (Mecanoo), (SD)Ting-yi Lo, Yun-shan Huang, Che-sheng Wang; (DD/CD)Ting-yi Lo, Che-sheng Wang, Chia-ru Lin, Beatrice Cordella, Meng-yue Ruan, Qi-ping Yang, Li-chi Yeh, Ya-zhi Guo, Che-kang liu; (CA)Yun-shan Huang, Chia-ru Lin, Ting-yi Lo, Ya-yun Wang, Wei-chieh Pan, Yun Chen, Ting-yi Li, Cheng-wei Li, Chih-hung Wang, Yung-hsien Fang, Jui-pao Chan, Tien-hsi Hsu, Ya-tieh Yu, Guan-wun Chen, Yu-lun Liang (MAYU Architects)
  • Installation Advisor:Frontier Tech Institute of Engineering Design & Consultant
  • Wayfinding Design:Path & Landforms
  • City:Rende District
  • Country:Taiwan (ROC)
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© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee

Text description provided by the architects. The oldest city in Taiwan, Tainan has a rich history influenced by different cultures. There are remnants of maritime trade with Europe in the 17th century, of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, and Japanese settlements from the beginning of the 20th century. The city is rich in temples, including the famous 17th century Confucius Temple with its cantilevered roofs and beautifully carved ceilings. The new library takes from this history, is inspired by the local culture, and has been designed for the tropical climate of Tainan. It is home to the city's cultural heritage, modern art, music, films, and over a million books, including more than 16,000 from the Japanese occupation period, and of course, is equipped with the latest technologies of a modern library.

© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee
© Yu-Chen Chao
© Yu-Chen Chao

Bamboo forest. The most striking feature is the inverted stepped shape of the library. Slender columns support the cantilevers in rhythmically placed quartets, giving a feeling of weaving your way through a modern bamboo forest. The striking crown of the building is surrounded by vertical aluminium slats with carved flower patterns, which are reminiscent of the decorative latticed windows in the old town. These slats filter the light and keep the heat out. In the evening, this unique facade is recognizable from afar.

© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee

The stepped building offers shelter to visitors both inside and outside and creates a smooth transition from exterior and interior. Below the cantilevers are four sunken patios for outdoor activities, with the largest accessible from the square; lectures, concerts, and exhibitions can be organized here. Looking up, you can see the special finish of the awnings: champagne-coloured aluminium panels with a linear staggered relief, providing additional decorative elements to the facades. The rational construction of the library allows maximum flexibility so that the building is prepared for future changes.

First floor plan
First floor plan

Art and books. Once inside, the double-height atrium is inhabited with a work of art by Paul Cocksedge. The installation seems to freeze the moment when white sheets of paper are blown away by the wind, symbolising freedom of thought and the pleasure of reading. Art is exhibited everywhere in the building, not just to look at but also interactive art to touch and play with. A red sculptural staircase adds an exciting element to the geometric building, intersecting all levels and is visible everywhere through the subtle wooden-slatted flight of stairs.

© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee
Section
Section
© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee

The ground floor is spacious, transparent, and warm due to the wood finish. Upon entry, you are greeted by an arrivals area and the welcome desk, a living room is also located here where you can read newspapers and magazines. Touchscreens with which you can explore the collection and a self-service point for borrowing books also feature on this level. The children's library with imaginative bookcases and an adjoining patio under the awning for outdoor play is situated below. This level is also home to a spacious study room with its own entrance, where students can study 24/7.

© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee

Heritage collection. As you make your way to the upper levels of the building, you first encounter a media library with seating and alcoves where you can watch movies, along with a library for teenagers with its own lounge. The general collection is located on the level above this. Beyond there is a floor dedicated to the heritage collection including the Tainan Memorial Exhibition, Japanese Collection Archive, and books by Taiwanese authors.

© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee
© Ethan Lee

There are also four outdoor areas situated here, which are arranged as roof gardens, as well as three multifunctional spaces for classrooms/workshops and a cafe. At the top of the building, you will find the theatre and conference hall, along with offices for members of staff. From the uppermost levels of the building, a beautiful view of the city through the vertical slats is on display. Furthermore, the building has an art gallery, a maker space, and Braille library. There is also a bookshop so that you can not only read books but also purchase them. 

© Yu-Chen Chao
© Yu-Chen Chao

Project gallery

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Project location

Address:717, Taiwan, Tainan City, Rende District, Zhengyi 1st Street, 39, Taiwan (ROC)

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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: "Tainan Public Library / Mecanoo + MAYU Architects" 16 Feb 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/957064/tainan-public-library-mecanoo-plus-mayu-architects> ISSN 0719-8884
© Ethan Lee

台南公共图书馆 / Mecanoo + 张玛龙陈玉霖联合建筑师

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