vector architects has turned a traditional chinese courtyard and its surrounding buildings into a library fit for contemporary use. the ‘suochengli neighborhood library’ is located in yantai, a port city in eastern china’s shandong province, and occupies a plot in one of the city’s most historic districts. the setting had been frequently modified over the years, and the architects were keen to preserve the building’s ‘precious traces of time’.

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
all images by su shengliang © vector architects

 

 

vector architects began by systematically restoring the site’s original architecture — including the walls, doors, windows, roofs, and flooring. the design team then divided the courtyard into several smaller sections, with a multi-functional public space at the center and three areas of vegetation at the perimeter. surrounding the courtyard, a cloister serves as the primary circulation route, while visitors access the library via a welcoming entrance that reaches out into the adjacent alley.

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the library occupies a plot in one yantai’s most historic districts

 

 

weathering steel, a material that complements the historic brick, stone, and tile, has been used throughout the renovation. the cloister system is supported on steel columns, with the canopy also serving as a rain gutter. the largest indoor space is the reading room, which also features an area for children. an on-site café is served by an adjacent kitchen, while, opposite, an indoor gallery provides space for exhibitions and events.

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
visitors access the site via a welcoming entrance that reaches out into the adjacent alley

 

 

‘we believe that the architecture of our time should, in an intelligent way, reveal and reactivate the historical assets and local cultures,’ explains vector architects. ‘the library would retain both the lifestyle and pace of the local community, while serving as a practice of contemporary culture and aesthetics of modern society. within the space, where a dialogue between the new and the old would be cultivated, the energy and vitality from local communities could be stimulated, further contributing to the knowledge production and dissemination as well as space sharing.’

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the site’s original architecture has been systematically restored

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the design team divided the courtyard into several smaller sections

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
a cloister serves as the primary circulation route

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the largest indoor space is the library’s reading room

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the space also features a separate area for children

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the cloister functions as a rain shelter during bad weather conditions

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
weathering steel has been used throughout the renovation

vector architects suochengli neighborhood library
the project serves as a vibrant cultural destination for the community

 

 

project info:

 

location: no.12 shiyan street, chefoo district, yantai, china
client: yantai chuangyuan culture communication co.,ltd
design firm: vector architects
principal architect: gong dong
project architect: han zhang
construction management: yang zhou
site architect: dan zhao
design team: zhoujie chen, dan zhao, jacopo ruggeri, simin li, yeqian tan
structural and MEP consultants: zhigang ma, xiaolei zhao, gong han
materials: weathering steel, pebbledash, melamine board
building area: 150 sqm / 1,615 sqf
design period: december 2016 – january 2017
construction period: march 2017 – july 2017

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news