Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects win International competition to design the new Shanghai Library, China
Schmidt Hammer Lassen has won a two stage international competition to
design the new city library for Shanghai, China. Shanghai is currently
the most populous city in the world with nearly 25 million inhabitants,
and has a central library system that dates back to 1847. The practice
saw off competition from Kengo Kuma, David Chipperfield and Dominque
Perrault to the prestigious commission after a 6 month two stage
process. The 110,000m2 library, located in Pudong District - the area
of the city known for its iconic skyline, will sit immediately next to
Century Park - the largest park in the city spread over 140 hectares.
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 1200 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.
"We see the library as the focal point in a park. A central rock within a
city scale Chinese garden", said Chris Hardie, Partner at Schmidt
Hammer Lassen. "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 project completes a trilogy of cultural projects alongside the
Science & Technology Museum and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre -
all which surround the centre of the Pudong Government - and sit
alongside Century Avenue that links Century Park to the Business
District that forms the now globally recognisable skyline of Shanghai.
In 1995, Shanghai Library merged with the Shanghai Institute of
Scientific and Technological Information resulting in an advanced and
comprehensive public library, the first in China that combines public
library services with Scientific and Technological research functions.
"A modern library is not only a place for the storage and lending of
different materials, it is also a place to stay, a place for social
interaction and a place to be inspired and surprised", said Morten
Schmidt, Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. "The answer to these changes
and challenges are what we refer to as a shift from "collection to
connection. Libraries are not only passive collections, but vibrant
institutions connecting users with knowledge, experiences, innovation
and not least their fellow citizens", he added.
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 that
are angled to minimise solar glare in addition to horizontal louvres -
allowing unobstructed panoramic views to the park and city beyond.
The project is now progressing through Scheme Design, with Detail Design
expected to be completed in the first half of 2017. The Library is
expected to be completed and ready to open in 2020.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen are one of the world's leading library architects,
having first completed the Renovation and expansion of The Royal Danish
Library in Copenhagen in 1999, the Halifax Central Library in Nova
Scotia, and the recently completed Dokk1 in Aarhus, which was announced
as the Best Public Library in the World at the annual IFLA conference
2016 (the International Federation of Library Associations).
Other ongoing Library projects by the practice include the New Central
Library for Ningbo in East China due for completion in 2017, the
renovation and expansion of the Victoria State Library in Melbourne,
Australia and the new Central Library in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
2016, 1st prize, international competition
Schlaich Bergermann Partner
Climate & Environmental Engineer
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Drees & Sommer
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Beauty & the Bit and Doug&Wolf
Local Collaboration Architect
Source: Press Release: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects