vector architects casts seashore library at water’s edge
image © su shengliang
all images courtesy of vector architects

 

 

 

chinese firm vector architects shared with us one of its recently completed projects, the seashore library located on the peaceful coast of bohai bay, a three-hours drive away from beijing. the facility is part of a vacation compound that aims to provide a quieter lifestyle than that available in the booming metropolis and was conceived by programming in section.  it houses a large open reading area, peaceful meditation space, multi-functional activity room, bar, and resting area.  located almost on the water itself, the spaces within the structure are carefully designed to contain a unique relationship with the ocean to the east, natural light, and wind, using each of these elements to varying degrees to breathe life into the spaces.

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © xia xhi

 

 

 

 the reading area is the largest space in the building, comprising two stories and a stepped series of tables and chairs so that the ocean view is enjoyed from anywhere in the library.  along the ground level, a series of operable glass walls pivot to open to the ocean breeze on nice days, while a large strip of fixed windows above it extend views from the upper level.  steel roof trusses spanning east to west support the entire span of the canopy uninterrupted by columns, until it seamlessly curves down into the wall, funneling the space towards the sea.  small oval apertures dot the rooftop allowing pinpointed beams of light to streak across the floor, also operable to allow for natural ventilation.

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
library on the site
image © su shengliang

 

 

 

the meditation room is much more modest in size and located on the upper story next to the open reading area. in contrast to the reading space, the meditation area only contains two small 30 cm-wide windows that do not allow views but instead control the amount and quality of light entering the space.  the board-form concrete reveals each groove and imperfection as intense lines of light rake the walls and floor. this space changes moods throughout the day, harnessing the qualities of light present at sunrise and sunset, so the visitor is left with the light and sound of the ocean.  the activity room, although in the same structure, is separated by an angular concrete wall that opens towards the ocean. as a flexible open space, the activity room is capable of hosting a wide array of events without intruding into the quiet and serenity of the reading area or meditation space.

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
lower level glass walls open to connect interior and exterior
image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
activity space with directed views
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
structure sits directly on the sand
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
reading space

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
view of the windows and glass block wall from the second floor
image © he bin 

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
terraced seating gives everyone a view of the ocean
image © hal chen

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
image © he bin

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
entrance into reading room
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
meditation room
image © xia xhi

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
slender windows facing east and west filter different kinds of light into the space
(left) image © xia xhi
(right) image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
stairway to a small rooftop patio
image © su shengliang

 

 

vector architects casts seashore library at water's edge, china
(left) image © su shengliang 

 

 

drawings

 

 

project info:

 

 

location: beidaihe new district, china
client: beijing rocfly investment (group) co., ltd
design firm:vector architects
principal architect: gong dong
project architect: chen liang
site architect: yifan zhang, dongping sun
design team: zhiyong liu, hsi chao chen, hsi mei hsieh
structural & mep engineering: beijing yanhuang international architecture & engineering co.,ltd.
structural consultant: lixin ji, zhongyu liu
structure: concrete structure
material: concrete, laminated bamboo slate, glass block
building area: 450 m2
design period: 02/2014- 07/2014
construction period: 07/2014- 04/2015