as part of an international competition to design a new public library for songdo international city in incheon, south korea, H-O-TT shares its proposal that translates two different landscapes — hills and clouds — into a huge, ring-like volume perched atop an undulating mound. the concept follows the idea that nature was where humans first found knowledge and developed the ability to perceive and record important information. a few millennia later, the library then became the place where knowledge was codified and stored. and more recently, in the age of the internet, libraries have focused on creating social spaces for communities to generate knowledge through discourse.

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images courtesy of H-O-TT

 

 

H-O-TT‘s proposal presents two distinct landscapes that represent traditional and contemporary models of the library coming together as co-dependent partners. the first is ‘the hills’: a public and experiential topography of looping pathways reminiscent of landscape paintings and meandering walks. it allows free public movement across and around the site, pulling in the cerebral energy of the city into an active center, inviting discussion and encounters. underneath the hills lie grand yet intimate auditoria, gathering and event spaces.

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the site is designed as a field of activity and movement

 

 

the second distinct landscape is ‘the cloud’: a precious object perched atop the hills, a legible volume that elevates the more intensive activities of the library – reading, teaching, and independent work. it is where global repositories of knowledge are accessed, as its digital namesake suggests. it provides a central focal point over the hills below, as if applying a magnifying glass to the ground.

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the design encourages walking, conversation, pondering and observing – all ways to learn and generate new ideas

 

 

the hills and the cloud meet in a diverse array of gathering points and thresholds both inside and out, transient and fixed, elevated and embedded, dense and dispersed. by designing various possibilities for interaction within these two landscapes, H-O-TT‘s proposal intends to facilitate continuous exploration and knowledge generation, making songdo international city library a unique destination as well as a highly functional public facility.

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a partially transparent upper volume generates an ephemeral and dynamic presence on the skyline

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the upper volume hosts quiet reading and workspaces and concentrated group zones

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interior view of the library 

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the building prioritizes natural light and accessibility as the norm

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the library utilizes advanced building materials and low-carbon strategies

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hills and clouds concept

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floor plans

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exploded isometric

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elevation and section

 

 

project info:

 

name: between hills and the clouds: interactive landscapes of knowledge

location: songdo-dong, yeonsu-gu, incheon, south korea

competition: international competition for library; SONGDO international city, s. korea

competition organizer: korea institute of architects

architect: H-O-TT

design team: luca beltrame, dennis schiaroli, beatrice gianni, paul van herk, andrius ribikauskas

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom