From collection to connection

Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects’ 115,000 m2 Shanghai Library East will join the Science and Technology Museum, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre on Century Avenue, which connects the 140-hectares Century Park – the largest park in the city.

Shanghai has a central library system that dates back to 1847, and the modern library will be more than a place for the storage and lending of different materials, it is also a place for social interaction, a place for people to stay, and a place to be inspired.

The main library volume floats above two pavilions that will house a 1000 seat performance venue, exhibition and events space and a dedicated children’s library, all of which open up towards a series of landscaped courtyards and gardens designed by ASPECT Studios’ Shanghai team.

“Having been present in Shanghai for over a decade, we are extremely honored to join this prestigious landmark project for the city of Shanghai,” says Studio Director, Stephen Buckle.

“Through a collaborative creative process our design will look to provide a people and experience orientated landscape, one that provides a platform for social exchange, sharing of knowledge and connection, meeting both the humanistic and environmental needs of the city and its citizens”.

An overarching principal of the landscaping is creating a connection between the main library and the surrounding parklands that represents the different facets of use; from everyday people, to larger civic events, from the grand icon of the city to the humanistic experience of reading a book under a tree.

Guided by the framework that focuses on the inside and outside connectivity, the landscape will extend the interior program and spaces into the landscape with a knowledge plaza, children’s garden and educational landscape, sky library bamboo forest retreat, social and study zones, a seniors’ garden and amphitheater with performance space.

Water Sensitive Urban Design is also integrated into the landscape by using the sponge city principles – water harvesting, recycling, rain gardens – to manage urban water flows in an environmentally conscious way and provide a sustainable landscape space for the community and city.

The new library, to be completed in 2020, 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. Shanghai Library East will be a representation of Shanghai community and the unique and characteristic planting community of Shanghai.

The collaboration will continue between Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and ASPECT Studios leading by the design directors Chris Hardie and Stephen Buckle to develop a holistic social system for the project that supports the vision of the Shanghai Library and the Government for the future city.
Renders by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects/ Beauty & the Bit.

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