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Schmidt Hammer Lassen unveil their design for East Library in Shanghai

By FEDERICA LUSIARDI - October 20, 2017

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In 2016, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects won a three-stage international competition to design a new public library in Shanghai.

The 115,000-square-meter building will be located in the eastern part of the city, adjacent to Shanghai’s Century Park. Now, the practice reveals new visuals to mark the project’s groundbreaking ceremony.

The building is conceived as a monolithic object “floating” above the ground and overlooking the surrounding park. The massive volume of the main library seems to levitate above two low-rise pavilions, topped by roof-terraces, which house a 1000-seat theater, an exhibition and event space, and a children library. Daylight and views towards the landscape are provided by large glazed openings pointing in all directions.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, East Library in Shanghai, visuals, exterior views.

The library is organized around an imposing central atrium, clad with thin vertical wood boards, encircled by three main reading rooms interconnected to the other parts of the library complex. The building will be linked, both visually and functionally, to Century Park to the east, a new library park to the south, and the city center to the north and west.

A modern library is not only a place for the storage and lending of different materials, it is also a place to stay, to socialze and to be inspired and surprised. 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“, said Chris Hardie, Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, East Library in Shanghai, visual of the lobby.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, East Library in Shanghai, visual, floor 6, “reading plaza”.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, East Library in Shanghai, visual, floor 3.

Images courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.




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