tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china

protoscapes designs horizon library in hefei countryside

 

In their project Horizon Library, the architecture and urban design studio Protoscapes frames the picturesque countryside of Hefei, China, incorporating a tree-shaped bookcase as the main element of their concept. The project re-envisions the site as a tranquil reading sanctuary that captures the prairies’ beauty, being part of the Dawei Revitalization Masterplan’s second phase, which aims to transform the area into a cultural nexus dedicated to nature, art, and performance. The library has two separate volumes stacked on each other: a carved monolith and a transparent prism housing the centerpiece of the design—the reading room. Standing on a floating veranda, the reading room features oak bookshelves that emerge from its center and fill the room with their form. 

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
all images courtesy of Protoscapes

 

 

two-volume library frames panoramic views in China

 

Protoscapes placed the library floors lengthwise along the fields and splayed them in a welcoming stance, embracing the horizon. The two volumes stand atop one another, framing the breadth of the land and the expanse of the sky. The monolith volume houses the lobby café and other auxiliary spaces. A corridor leads the visitors through the fields, inside the prismatic volume, through the supporting core columns that host vertical circulation systems and essential service shafts. Using this clustered core arrangement, the architects liberate the perimeter of the building and dedicate the space to the reading room. The architects conceive Horizon Library as a panoramic living room where visitors can slow down and enjoy views of the surrounding landscape. Simultaneously, the project serves as a learning hub for locals, potentially narrowing the educational divide in the rural area. 

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
Horizon Library frames the picturesque countryside of Hefei, China

 

 

tree-shaped bookcase balances visual appeal and functionality

 

The reading room’s cantilever floorplate projects four meters outward on three sides, creating a levitating panoramic veranda. Within this continuous space, an oak bookshelf winds around the building core and ascends towards the ceiling, reminiscent of a tree. Each branch of the tree pairs with a 2.2-meter-wide, double-glazed curtain wall unit, outlining the spatial division for the reading alcoves. The bookshelf integrates mechanical ventilation and lighting systems into poché spaces, maintaining the interior’s aesthetic coherence without compromising functionality. A central aisle connects the perimeter alcoves to form a gathering space for private events in the center of the reading room. A mirror-finish stainless steel ceiling floats above the room and extends the bookshelves beyond the nominal ceiling, creating the impression of an infinite vertical space. 

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
the project re-envisions the site as a tranquil reading sanctuary that captures the prairies’ beauty

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
an oak bookshelf winds around the building core and ascends towards the ceiling, reminiscent of a tree

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
a mirror-finish stainless steel ceiling creates the illusion of an infinite vertical space

arborescent-bookcase-center-protoscapes-horizon-library-china-designboom-1800-01

the architects conceive Horizon Library as a panoramic living room where visitors enjoy views of the landscape

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
the bookshelf integrates mechanical ventilation and lighting systems into poché spaces

arborescent-bookcase-center-protoscapes-horizon-library-china-designboom-1800-03

the architects use a clustered core arrangement to dedicate more space to the reading room

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
the reading room is hosted on a levitating panoramic veranda

arborescent-bookcase-center-protoscapes-horizon-library-china-designboom-1800-02

a central aisle connects the perimeter alcoves to form a gathering space for private events

tree-shaped bookcase emerges from protoscapes' horizon library in china
each branch of the tree pairs with a 2.2-meter-wide, double-glazed curtain wall unit

 

 

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two distinct volumes, a grounded, carved monolith and a hovering, transparent prism, stand atop one another
two distinct volumes, a grounded, carved monolith and a hovering, transparent prism, stand atop one another
the project re-envisions the site as a tranquil reading sanctuary that captures the prairies’ beauty
the project re-envisions the site as a tranquil reading sanctuary that captures the prairies’ beauty
a corridor leads the visitors through the fields and inside the prismatic volume
a corridor leads the visitors through the fields and inside the prismatic volume
design process diagram and sectional perspective
design process diagram and sectional perspective
site and floor plans
site and floor plans

project info:

 

name: The Horizon Library
location: Hefei, China
architect: Protoscapes | @protoscapes_architects
design team: HUANG Jinhui, CHAN Pakkin, QIU Bin, LIN Zhaoli, LIN Miaoting

 

 

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: thomai tsimpou | designboom

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