Inventive new central library by MVRDV
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Images by MVRDV and Sora
With the aim of building a recognizable landmark in Wuham, Chine, MVRDV won a competition that involved various top architectural firms from all over the world. The Dutch architectural firm won the competition with their exclusive design thinking ability. The new 140,000 sqm central library building takes its concept from the local inhabitant and celebrates the sculptural power of rivers which is also demonstrated in its internal character. Shaped in form a ‘canyon of books’, the aesthetic structure encompasses both the traditional and non-traditional functions including various study and lounge spaces, while its three large openings serve as visual representations of life inside the building, arousing curiosity according to Designboom website.
With an exclusive view of the surrounding nature of the architectural masterpiece, MVRDV unveiled a three-faced flowing building that reflects the landscape of Wuhan in its volume, spatial qualities and its materials. The exclusive structure also has three dramatic panoramic windows that allow views over the city at different vantage points with each opening focusing on a particular direction of view: The tallest of the three windows faces the downtown skyline; a low, wide window offers a panoramic view of the park opposite; and a long, curved window hugs the adjacent plaza, offering passersby a glimpse into the library.
Focusing on energy consumption reduction and sustainability, MVRDV conceived the library which is surrounded by a park to adjust to the climatic conditions of Wuhan for the purpose of long-term and sustainable maintenance. With the tall trees in the environment, cooling in the time of biting sunlight is sure as the main public areas are shaded by the northwest corner of the building.
The facade on the aesthetic building incorporates louvers in a bookshelf-like pattern that reflects the building’s function while shading the interior for the purpose of reducing energy consumption. These louvers are more densely spaced in areas that require the most sun protection. In addition, natural ventilation combined with the use of smart appliances, automation and efficient lighting system effectively reduce the building’s energy needs, while renewable energy is achieved through the solar panels integrated into the library’s flowing roof forms.
The interior concept of the structure highlights Wuhan’s position at the convergence of rivers, surrounded by the urban landscape. Stepped beechwood terraces mimic the sculptural lines of a canyon, and the first floor features a wide public space that visitors can use throughout the day. Pavilion-like spaces on the terraces house the library’s various programs, while the canyon gives shape to different zones and interior experiences, with quiet reading areas, group study areas, and bookshelves as part of its topography.
Name: New Wuhan Central Library
Founding Partner in Charge: Jacob van Rijs
Partner: Wenchian Shi
Design Team (Competition): Olga Marelja, Yunxi Guo, Ilaria Furbetta, Andrius Ribikauskas, Gioele Colombo, Jiameng Li, Americo Iannazzone, Cosimo Scotucci, Xiaodong Luo
Design Team (Schematic Design): Olga Marelja, Yunxi GuoIlaria FurbettaAlberto MenozziXiaodong LuoJiameng Li
Environmental Advisor: Arjen Ketting
MVRDV NEXT: Leo Stuckardt
Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Angelo La Delfa, Luana La Martina, Marco Fabri, Stefania Trozzi, Luis Moreno Perona, Ciprian Buzdugan
Video: Pavlos Ventouris, Lorenzo D’Alessandro, Kirill Emelianov
Copyright: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries
Model Makers: RJ Models
Renders: © MVRDV, © SORA Images
Edited by MJ for Buildace Magazine