Denmark’s schmidt hammer lassen architects has won a competition to design a 30,000m² central library in Ningbo, China.
The new library, to be located in Ningbo New East Town, will be built on the edge of a new ecological wetland area that will be a cultural hub for the city.
Schmidt hammer lassen’s design will enable the library to showcase its collection of more than two million books and double the number of daily visitors. The firm said the Ningbo City library, which was founded in 1927, holds the largest collection of historic and ancient books in the region.
The old library attracts 3,000 to 4,000 visitors daily and the new library intends to increase the visitors count to 7,000 to 8,000 a day. As per the plans, the new library will be organised with an open plan layout with 3,000 study spaces.
The library, which is anticipated to be completed in 2016, will have a central atrium in the form of a giant book stack featuring study desks, reading booths, internet stations and media spaces.
The 28m high space links the marketplace at ground floor level with a series of research spaces and historic collections above.
Schmidt hammer lassen’s Shanghai office associate partner and head Chris Hardie said the new library project is part of a transformation that the city of Ningbo is currently undergoing.
"Our proposal sits at the heart of the new town’s first phase immediately next to the new headquarters for the Ningbo Government," Hardie said.
Sustainable features of the building include use of natural daylight in all interior spaces by optimising the building’s orientation.
Natural ventilation will be maximised through the central atrium, while the structure of the building will feature exposed concrete to optimise thermal stability in hot summer months and cool winters.
Schmidt hammer lassen partner Morten Schmidt said the library has been designed to be open and accessible.
"It is organised around an 8,000 square metres open marketplace containing the most popular library functions and collections," Schmidt said.
"The marketplace is visually open on all sides connecting to a public plaza and a landscaped ecological park and lake, thus ensuring all interior spaces have a direct connection with the outside."
Image: The new library will be located in Ningbo New East Town. Photo courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects.