Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Library as a town

Compiled by Rutvi Ashar
Renders: Shanghai Cenby Digital Technology Co. Ltd
Read Time: 2 mins
"Salon taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
Proposed salon in the National Library of Taiwan (inset) Ar. Carlo Ratti

Expected to greet the public in 2023, Bio-architecture Formosana (BAF) together with Carlo Ratti Associatti (CRA) present the National Library in Taiwan, which hopes to transform a large undeveloped suburban plot in XinYing District.

Selected as the winner of nine competitions, the design of the new public building, commissioned by the National Central Library proposed by BAF x CRA is an open and transparent space. Doing away with the idea of a traditional, monumental library, this 51,000 sq. m. space is envisioned as “rooms of knowledge” that define the contemporary role of the library as a less-formal, more-interactive hub.

"Siteplan taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
Site plan
"birds eye view taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
"diagram statement taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
Diagram statement

Located in a town of about 80,000 inhabitants and home to many Tainan City government offices, the site sits amidst housing, a municipal swimming pool and stadium. The facility aims to boost activity within the southern community by accommodating spaces such as a library, event hall, museum and repository - all of which are linked through the main axis connecting the north-south sides of the site, smoothly bringing people into this library town.

"design concept taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
Design concept

"diagram strategy taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
Diagram strategy

To seamlessly flow into the community, three main ideas drive its creation: integration with nature, openness of learning and “museumisation” of the library.  As the 5.7 ha site has an existing ecosystem, the designers chose to preserve almost 90% of the trees, including the golden shower tree boulevard, which is a landmark to community, thus planning the built environment to coexist harmoniously with the surroundings. The space caters to new-age learning such as co-learning, open-source-data-sharing and digital networking. Hence, the design accommodates “The Salon”: an interactive, flexible space for learning and events, which redefines the traditional “see-the-books reading room” idea. In addition, “The Agora” under the solar canopy is a response to the hot and humid town to provide shade and harness energy. 

"library as a town taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
"south entrance from green plaza taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"
"big canopy taiwan library carlo ratti indiaartndesign"

While the concept of “Library as a Town” is inspired by the humbleness of the context, BAF x CRA have a design response that disrupts the idea of a conventional library. Using the technology of the times, they automate various features of the library experience while retaining the feel and smell of a modest book!

Fact File:
Client: National Central Library 
Design Lead: Bio-architecture Formosana (BAF)
User Experience: Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA)
Museum Specialist: Prof. Chen Jeng Horng of National Cheng Kung University Museum
Built-up Area: 51,000 sq. m. (5,48,959.40 sq. ft.) 
Location: Xinying, Tainan City, Taiwan

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