as part of an international competition to design city main library gwangju in south korea, jaeho jin and junghyo woo of JWA, in collaboration with SNB architecture, envision a building based on the idea of stacked books. the proposal seeks to create a future-proof program that embraces the changing-needs of library users, while the design motif follows the notion of ‘the stacks’ and an architecture of horizontality.
all images © JWA (jin & woo architects)
the traditional program of a library is reimagined and the spaces are designed to be seamless and expandable. geometrically, the exterior and interior of the building are shaped as a slightly disorganized pile of books, aptly representing the library identity and allowing roof spaces to become habitable spaces, such as decks or large steps. this concept culminates through the main stepped reading room and library called ‘the stacks’.
the horizontality of the library is a key aspect of the proposal. JWA design principal jaeho jin explains, ‘our first thought is that libraries should have a ‘horizontality’. inside space and programs want to be as wide as possible horizontally as possible, not vertically stacked hierarchical relationships.’
in response to the axis of the site, the mass of the library is twisted to create a balance of tension and harmony with the surrounding context and activate the outdoor space. this contorted shape is also exposed within the interior and is emphasized in the main circulation space, which encompasses both vertical and horizontal movement.
the library is also conceived as ‘a space of knowledge’. the design team intends that the dynamic flow of space will help users easily move around and find the material they’re looking for. natural light is also central to the overall concept and the design includes a huge roof lantern that illuminates the atrium space and penetrates deep into the floor levels.
project name: city main library gwangju
location: gwangju, south korea
program: culture, library
architect: jaeho jin, junghyo woo at JWA (jin & woo architects), SNB architecture
site location: #1163, chipyeong-dong, seo-gu, gwangju, republic of korea
site area: 10,200 m2 (1st phase)
building area: 5,067.02 m2
building coverage: 49.68%
total floor area: 10,990.79 m2
total ground floor area: 9,366.09 m2
floor area ratio: 107.75%
maximem height: 27 m
number of storys: B1F/4F
structure: RC + SC (truss)
edited by: lynne myers | designboom