Go with the flow

Wednesday 28 Mar 2012

'Free flow of information' inspires snaking National Library of Public Information

J. J. Pan and Partners have recently seen their design for the National Library of Public Information come to realisation in Taichung, Taiwan. The curvaceous concept is said to reflect the ‘free flow of information’ within the library form and each of the five above grade storeys takes its interior design cue from the corresponding exterior view, such as clouds, tree trunks, the city skyline and so forth.

Much consideration has gone into reflecting the nature of the building’s function in its architectural design, as the architects explain: “As a symbol for the ‘stream of knowledge’, the National Library of Public Information tries to remind the citizens, with its flowing curved image, to ‘search for a city and read a city’. Furthermore, areas with abundant glazing foster an outside-in effect that evokes the library’s free flow of information.”

Stretching over 41, 797 sq m of two below grade floors and five above grade, the €53m volume varies in material and form across the site, culminating in a large glazed pane at both ends with views out across loosely landscaped gardens. The greenery within this exterior plot is native to the region and specifically selected to be low maintenance. It also creates a micro-climate that offers relief from the heat island effect of Taichung and incorporates a rainwater recycling system to reduce the building’s dependency on excess energy.

Additional sustainable measures include integrated insulation within the long, curved exterior composite wall system to lower the amount of heat lost, generous glazed panels and horizontal inclining windows to encourage users to utilise natural as opposed to artificial light, and recessed volumes on the ground floor and underground public reading room which facilitate natural air convection.

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