Ningbo New Library

Ningbo/ China

Size/ 31,405 m²
Competition/ 1st prize, restricted invited international competition
Status/ Expected completion 2019
Client/ City of Ningbo/ Ningbo Library
Landscape Architect/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Ningbo New Library is located in the heart of Ningbo East New Town and sits on the edge of a new ecological wetland area which will form a new cultural hub of the city. Founded in 1927, the Ningbo City Library holds the largest collection of historic and ancient books in the region. The old library attracts 3–4,000 visitors daily, where the new one aim is to increase this number to 7–8,000 per day. To deal with this increase the building will be organized with an open plan layout containing over 3,000 study spaces.

The building is organized around an 8,000 m² open marketplace containing the most popular library functions and collections. The marketplace is visually open on all sides connecting to a public plaza, a landscaped ecological park and a lake, thus ensuring all interior spaces have a direct connection with the outside.

With its open and accessible design the project makes it possible to display the library’s collection of more than 2 million books and double the number of daily visitors.

From a sustainable viewpoint the library design maximises the use of passive solutions over technological add-ons. For instance the use of natural daylight in all interior spaces is optimized through the building orientation. Natural ventilation will be maximized through the central atrium and the structure of the building will consist of exposed concrete to optimize thermal stability during hot summer months and cool winters.

The expected completion of the new Ningbo Library is by the end of 2018.

A central 28 m-high atrium in the form of a giant book stack contains study desks, reading booths and media spaces, and connects the marketplace at ground floor level with a series of quieter research spaces and historic collections.

The atrium provides natural light to the centre of the building during the day and acts as an urban lantern at night.

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