tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan

the collaborative team of mecanoo and MAYU architects has completed a public library in tainan — taiwan‘s oldest city. the design references the history of the region, which comprises remnants of maritime trade with europe from the 17th century, the chinese ming dynasty, and japanese settlements from the beginning of the 20th century. the library is now home to the city’s cultural heritage, modern art, music, films, and over a million books — including more than 16,000 from the japanese occupation period.

tainan public library
image by ethan lee | main image by yu-chen chao

 

 

externally, the most striking feature of mecanoo and MAYU’s design is the library’s inverted stepped shape with slender columns supporting the cantilevered levels. below the cantilevers are four sunken patios for outdoor activities such as lectures, concerts, and exhibitions. in this way, the building offers shelter to visitors both inside and outside and creates a smooth transition from exterior and interior.

tainan public library
image by yu-chen chao

 

 

meanwhile, the crown of the building is surrounded by vertical aluminum slats with carved flower patterns that are reminiscent of the decorative latticed windows in the old town. these slats filter the light and keep the heat out. the aluminum awnings have been finished in a champagne color, while a linear staggered relief provides additional decorative elements to the façades. after dark, the distinctive elevations are recognizable from afar.

tainan public library
image by ethan lee

 

 

internally, wood has been used to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. the double-height atrium features an installation by paul cocksedge that appears to freeze the moment when white sheets of paper are blown away by the wind — symbolizing freedom of thought and the pleasure of reading. meanwhile, intersecting all levels, a red sculptural staircase adds an another element of intrigue to the geometric building.

tainan public library
image by ethan lee

 

 

upon entry, visitors are greeted by an arrivals area and a welcome desk. a living room is also included where guests are welcome to read newspapers and magazines. touchscreens allow visitors to explore the collection, while a self-service point for borrowing books is also found at ground level. the project also features a children’s library and an adjoining patio under the awning for outdoor play. meanwhile, a spacious study room with its own entrance allows students to study 24 hours a day.

tainan-public-library-mecanoo-MAYU-architects-taiwan-designboom-1800b

image by ethan lee

 

the building’s first floor includes a media library with seating and alcoves to watch movies, along with a library for teenagers with its own lounge. the general collection is found on the level above, while beyond is a floor dedicated to the heritage collection including the tainan memorial exhibition, japanese collection archive, and books by taiwanese authors. there are also four outdoor areas, arranged as roof gardens, as well as three multifunctional spaces for classrooms or workshops and a café.

tainan public library
image by ethan lee

 

 

offering views across the city, the top of the building contains the theater and conference hall, along with offices for members of staff. the complex has an art gallery, a maker space, and a braille library. there is also a bookshop, so that visitors can not only read books, but also purchase them. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan
image by ethan lee

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan
image by ethan lee

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan
image by ethan lee

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan
image by ethan lee

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan
image by ethan lee

tainan public library by mecanoo and MAYU architects opens in taiwan
image by yu-chen chao

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: tainan public library
location: tainan, taiwan
program: 37,000 sqm library with children’s, teenagers, and general collection, exhibition spaces for modern art and heritage collection, 24/7 study room (130 seats), multimedia library, café, theater (324 seats), conference room (123 seats), offices, multipurpose rooms, maker space, bookshop, archive, parking garage, four patios, roof gardens and a square
design: 2016-2017
realization: 2017-2020 (opening 2021)
client: cultural affairs bureau, tainan city government, taiwan
project team: mecanoo and MAYU architects
construction: envision engineering consultants
installation advisor: frontier tech institute of engineering design & consultant
wayfinding: path & landforms
contractor: fu tsu construction, shing tai hydro-power engineering



 

project team mecanoo —
design principal: francine houben
design team: rodrigo louro, friso van der steen, rodrigo bandini, johan hanegraaf, rachel lin, yuli huang, yuanyuan chen, natalia leszcynska, george orfanopoulos, antonio sanna, wanjen lin, yunying chiu, tsailing shih, eliano felicio, nienke andersson

 

project team MAYU architects —
design principal: malone chang, yu-lin chen
design team: (SD)ting-yi lo, yun-shan huang, che-sheng wang; (DD/CD)ting-yi lo, che-sheng wang, chia-ru lin, beatrice cordella, meng-yue ruan, qi-ping yang, li-chi yeh, ya-zhi guo, che-kang liu; (CA)yun-shan huang, chia-ru lin, ting-yi lo, ya-yun wang, wei-chieh pan, yun chen, ting-yi li, cheng-wei li, chih-hung wang, yung-hsien fang, jui-pao chan, tien-hsi hsu, ya-tieh yu, guan-wun chen, yu-lun liang

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ARCHITECTURE IN TAIWAN (157)

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