by STIRworldSep 01, 2020
Haikou’s next energetic, popular public space, the Wormhole Library designed by Beijing based MAD Architects nears completion in the city of Haikou, China. Located within the Century Park along the Haikou Bay coastline, overlooking the South China Sea, the multi-functional building will serve as a haven for readers and academics in the country.
The intimately scaled library is cast in white concrete using CNC and 3D printed models to ensure accuracy across the building’s curved geometry and seamless design. The curved concrete walls not only serve as a distinct, organic architectural element but also connect the ceiling, floor, and the walls together as a singular unit, monolithic in appearance, sculpted and carved rather than built.
The designers have signatorily punctuated the concrete form with large circular orifices of varying sizes to allow light to naturally illuminate the building. This allows the architecture to breathe, enabling visitors to interact with the sky and the sea, in line with the spatially interactive intent of the spaces and the structure. Grey spaces in the exterior corridors have been designed as shaded spots for visitors to stop and rest, or to read outdoors.
“Within the library, people interact directly with both the sky and sea. Humans are no longer the dominant beings, and architecture is no longer the dominant vessel,” notes an official release from MAD Architects. “The visitor experience is instead a ‘glimpse into the universe’ – abstract but infinite.” Further amplifying the library’s austere aesthetics, the architects have concealed the electric and plumbing work of the building along with its mechanical vents within the concrete curves, eliminating clutter and distraction from its continuous form.
One of the most striking features of the Wormhole Library is going to be a two-storey reading room, placed at the heart of the library, housing a comprehensive, significant collection of over 10,000 books. On completion, the building will be forked into two zones by a large foyer. While one side will serve as a library, the other will play the role of a multi-purpose facilities block, intended to enliven the public and shared edifice of the library and how it interacts with the city at large.
Delivering an expansive view of the sea, the design has incorporated retractable glass curtain walls and curved sliding doors for uninterrupted natural ventilation as well, ensuring comfortable, optimum, and moderated temperatures at all times. These considerations in the design further the Wormhole Library in its pursuit of sustainability and energy saving. A rooftop terrace will conclude the building, alongside a pool and a white-sand filled area that will grace either side of the building at ground level.
Rounding up a more holistic experience for enthusiasts as well as the general public, the Wormhole Library also allows visitors to read, enjoy views of the sea, and attend open-air performances, temporarily removing them from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Being championed as Haikou's next energetic, popular public space, the library is intended to “bring layers of colour and activity to the city".
Wormhole Library was first revealed by MAD Architects in August 2020. It forms part of a wider masterplan to rejuvenate public spaces along the Chinese coastline. The Haikou Bay rejuvenation plan proposes a series of pavilions to crown the coast. Amongst the proposed pavilions, the library will be the first to complete its construction and become operational in the spring of 2021.
Also read our previous coverage on the Wormhole Library in southeast China.
(Text by Sharmin Oanali, intern at STIRworld.com)