One year after Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects won the three-stage international competition to design the new Shanghai East Library, the project passed another milestone with its official groundbreaking ceremony on September 27.
Sitting adjacent to Century Park in Shanghai's Pudong District, the new facility will offer 115,000 square meters of library space to house of collection of 4.8 million books, host more than 1,200 lectures and activities, and welcome an estimated 4 million visitors a year.
Headquartered in Copenhagen, SHL has built itself a reputation as library specialists with built and ongoing projects around the world, including Melbourne, Christchurch, Ningbo, Aarhus, Halifax, and Karlshamn.
Read on for a project description and the newly revealed visuals we've received from the architects.
"The project is conceived as a singular monolithic object floating above the tree canopy within the park. The main library volume floats above two pavilions that will house a 1000 seat performance venue, exhibition and events space and a dedicated children's library, that will all open up towards a series of landscaped courtyards and gardens."
"The library itself is organised around a grand central atrium in the form of three staggered reading rooms that open up and connect to various parts of the library and various contextual parts of the city from Century Park to the east, a new library park to the south and the city to the north and west."
"The library volume is carved and twisted to reflect the surrounding park and sky, and continuously clad in a facade of clear, insulated and fritted glass. The glass panels are arranged in horizontal bands of varying transparency giving the building the appearance of a striated rock with many layers. Clear glass will allow users unobstructed views of the surrounding parkland and cityscape, whilst areas of semi-transparent glass and insulated glass will control solar gain while allowing light to penetrate at high level deep into the building plan."
"In addition to the open market place floors, and a central atrium to discover new collections, exhibitions and events there will be a series of open reading spaces along each facade allowing patrons to connect back to their city from various points within the library space."
"The design is people-oriented, open and flexible, environment-friendly and interconnected. Once completed, it will meet all peoples' demands for functions of an epoch-making public library," said Chen Chao, the curator of Shanghai Library. "One reason for us to choose the design by SHL is it treats a modern library as a place for people to stay and make social interaction," said Chen.
Completion of Shanghai East Library is scheduled for late 2020.
Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Team: Morten Schmidt (Partner), Chris Hardie (Partner), Rong Lu (Partner), Jing Lin (Project Lead), Steven Morton (Project Lead), Tasha Ye Feng, Michelle Tang, Chencheng Li, Simon Persson, Steven Ying Nien Chen, Bartek Winnicki, Tim Kunkel, Xinghua Zu, Tade Godbersen, Dong Liang, Lukasz Truchalski, Sicong Liu, Beihong Mao, Mavis Lian.
Client: Shanghai Library
Competition: 2016, 1st prize, international competition
Structural Engineer: Schlaich Bergermann Partner (Shanghai & Stuttgart)
Climate & Environmental Engineer: Transsolar (Munich)
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Buro Happold (Beijing & London)
Facade Engineer: Drees & Sommer (Shanghai & Stuttgart)
Visuals: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Beauty & the Bit
Local Collaboration Architect: SIADR
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