NARCHITECTS win Shanghai Library Competition

By September 06 , 2016

About the Architects:

Mimi Hoang, AIA, NCARB, LEED, is a co-founding Principal of nARCHITECTS, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Along with Eric Bunge, she oversees the design and technical development of all projects in the office. Mimi received a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from M.I.T. Prior to founding nARCHITECTS, she trained in New York, Boston, and Amsterdam. Mimi has also taught at Yale University, Harvard University, and UC Berkeley.

Eric Bunge, AIA, is a co-founding Principal of nARCHITECTS, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Along with Mimi Hoang, he oversees the design and technical development of all projects in the office. Eric received a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University. Prior to founding nARCHITECTS, he trained in New York, Boston, Paris, Calcutta and London. Eric has also taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Parsons School of Design, R.I.S.D., UC Berkeley and University of Toronto.

New York-based nARCHITECTS has won first prize in the 2016 International Young Architects Design Competition for the 110,000 m sq Shanghai Library East Hall. The competition, which generated over 200 entries, was held by Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Government, aimed at enhancing Shanghai’s unique cultural influence and promoting qualities of public life there.

The library proposal entitled ‘Library as Home’ envisions a library that feels like a large house for all, with a rich variety of environments that Shanghai’s citizens could appropriate as their own. The design is inspired by the intimate connections between people, media and nature in libraries of the ancient world.

As with the two distinct environments in China’s oldest library ‘Tian Yi Ge’, the scheme is characterized by open floors that connect library activities to nature and the city beyond, and compact floors that store a wide range of information formats and supporting functions.

These open and compact floors have been organized as four pairs, thereby simplifying the public’s understanding of this large building as a home for all. Multiple environments for social interaction, reading, research, archiving, and public amenities are in this way distributed across these two distinct spatial types.

Four open levels provide distinct library environments, each connected to exterior gardens at every level, as well as to each other, resulting in a continuous public interior. Supported – both structurally and programmatically – by the compact levels below, nARCHITECTS envisaged these open floors to function as the city’s patio, living room, atelier and study: a Library as Home.

The cylindrical form of the building results in a compact urban form, and a legible presence at the scale of the city. By extending a large street level and sub-surface plinth below the park level, the park level footprint is minimised, liberating a large new area of public space.

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Open & Compact

As with the two distinct environments in China’s oldest library – Tian Yi Ge – our scheme is characterized by open floors that connect library activities to nature and the city beyond, and compact floors that store a wide range of information formats and supporting functions. These open and compact floors have been organized as four pairs, thereby simplifying the public’s understanding of this large building as a home for all.  As such, our design is inspired by the intimate connections between people, media and nature in libraries of the ancient world.

Library as Home

Four open levels provide distinct library environments, each connected to exterior gardens at every level, as well as to each other, resulting in a continuous public interior.  Supported – both structurally and programmatically – by the compact levels below, we imagine these open floors to function as the city’s Patio, Living Room, Atelier and Study: a Library as Home.

Urban Siting

The cylindrical form of the building results in a compact urban form, and a legible presence at the scale of the city. By extending a large street level and sub-surface plinth below the park level, we minimized the park level footprint, liberating a large new area of public space.

Fact File

Project: Shanghai Library East Hall
Client : Pudong New Area Planning and Land Authority, Pudong New District Propaganda Department (Cultural Media Bureau), The Architectural Society of Shanghai China, “Time Architecture” magazine.
Project Location: Shanghai, China
Architect: nARCHITECTS

Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (Principals), Albert Figueras (Associate, Project Architect), Wei Wen, Jessica Cheung, You Chia Lai, Thomas Heltzel, David Yukio Kagawa, Kyle Brill.
Area: 110,000 Sq m
Program : Library + information resource center
Awards : 1st Prize, International Competition, 2016
Renderings Credit: Sonaar

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