City Main Library Gwangju

The Library of Spectacle Gwangju / 2019

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With the internet, streaming platforms and smart phones become more accessible, e-news, e-books and e-magazines have become the prevailing media of publications, not to mention the exchange of information via various digital social media.  There has been a paradigm shift of the role of libraries. In particular, community libraries have been assuming more proactive role, from passive repositories of knowledge to knowledge transfer hubs, from places for tranquil reflection to platforms to promote social interaction and stages for spectacles. 


 


Situated to the north of the Sangmu Cultural Park and south of the Gwangjucheon Streams, the City Main Library of Gwangju together with the Sangmu Incinerators Regeneration Project will form the north gateway of the civic parks complex, which attracts cyclers from regional bike trail along the River. The form of the library literally takes up the shape of the site and each façade is in concave shape to greet its neighbours and to portrait an extrovert and inclusive image. Its main façade orientate towards the Incinerator Plant and to invite its participation. These couple buildings embraces a playground with pockets of different shapes and natures for outdoor games, which serve as stages of spectacles.  The library appears to be lifted up from ground with iconic projected opening tilted down on each façade to serve as entrances to capture audience from different orientations.


 


The Level 1 foyer acts as a through-way to allow the free passage of pedestrians to different parts of the site to facilitate the pedestrian traffic in this neighbourhood. Situated in the centre of the foyer is the book storage stack which appears a solid vertical core penetrating all floors to provide orientation to the whole library and the vertical circulation wraps around this core to direct public to different functional zones of the library. The stack is sandwiched by two curved wings, with physical training space at south and cultural education rooms at north on Level 2. The two wings open up toward east to embrace the kid’s library, with a grand spectator stand leading up to the main library floor on L3, with void over the kid’s zone. The seating stand and the kid’s open zone naturally form the internal venue for spectacle with parent overlooking kids while enjoying reading quietly and yet allowing comfortable distance for the kids to stay away from parents.  The orientation of the stand also takes the prime view of the playground and incinerator plant to the east. The curved east façade forms a proscenium for the outdoor spectacle while it acts like a showcase displaying the library events.


 


The facades act as the city interface which captures the site’s natural resource, with river and fields for the north wing and tree forest to the south with parks beyond. The mezzanine reading floor over the main library floor wrap around the book storage stack serves the intensive readers. There is an outdoor break-out area which connects to the roof deck with an open ramp.  The incinerator plant rises from the “horizons” as one climbs up to the roof deck.  From the deck, three sitting platforms stepped down towards the facades in different orientations. This raised deck allows undisturbed views toward the river, citizen parks and the incinerator plant.

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    With the internet, streaming platforms and smart phones become more accessible, e-news, e-books and e-magazines have become the prevailing media of publications, not to mention the exchange of information via various digital social media.  There has been a paradigm shift of the role of libraries. In particular, community libraries have been assuming more proactive role, from passive repositories of knowledge to knowledge transfer hubs, from places for tranquil reflection to platforms to...

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Client The Mayor of Gwangju Metropolitan City
    • Status Competition works
    • Type Libraries
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