Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects to design new city library in China


Danish architecture firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has won an award at a two-stage international competition to design the new city library for Shanghai, China.

Located in the Pudong District, the library building will be spread over an area of 110,000m².

The new structure will be developed just next to Century Park, which is the largest in the city of Shanghai and spans over an area of more than 140 hectares. The project's design demonstrates a singular monolithic object floating above the tree canopy within the national park.

The main library volume rises above two pavilions, which will feature a performance venue accommodating 1,200 seats, an exhibition and events area, as well as a children's library facing several landscaped courtyards and gardens.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen's partner Chris Hardie was quoted by media sources as saying: “We see the library as the focal point in a park; a central rock within a city-scale Chinese garden.

"You are in the heart of the world's largest city, yet we have the opportunity to create a sanctuary for knowledge and media in the trees."

“One of the most compelling things about this project is its location within a parkland setting. You are in the heart of the world's largest city, yet we have the opportunity to create a sanctuary for knowledge and media in the trees.”

The library will be developed around a grand central atrium and will feature three staggered reading rooms. These will then open up and connect to various parts of the library.

The rooms will also connect to 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.

In addition, the structure will be carved and twisted to reflect the surrounding park and sky and it will have a facade made of clear, insulated, and fritted glass.

The glass panels will be arranged in horizontal bands, specially angled to solar glare to a minimum, as well as feature horizontal louvers to provide unobstructed panoramic views to the park and city beyond.

Construction of the new library is expected to be completed and ready to open in 2020.