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Tranquil library with poetic design inspiration

Project: Dongpo Academy

Award: Civic – Institutions and community spaces, Bronze, 2022

Location: Meishan, China

Architect: XAA

Client: Vanke

This elegant library in Meishan close to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is set in a culture park alongside the Minjiang River. Elegantly constructed from contrasting wood and steel, its structure is inspired by traditional buildings of the region.

Named after Su Shi, a famous calligrapher and poet who came from the region, the library is reflected in the surrounding water and designed to bring to life the traditional Chinese ink painting. The majority of the library’s 2,500 square metres is comprised of book display and reading space. Three large skylights on the roof ensure the space is flooded with natural light, along with the four floor-to-ceiling glass surfaces under the eaves which allow views of the surrounding landscape. The 200-metre-long landscape front area creates a quiet and refreshing environment with bamboo and terraced fields.

The overall effect is of a transparent, free and continuous space, allowing the light to pass through at will. 

Design highlights

The huge continuous sloping roof extends to the ground, and almost appears to be growing out of the ground. Users are able to touch and stroke the black tiles of the roof at any time, offering a tactile experience.

  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy
  • Dongpo Academy

Photo credit: Zhan Changheng

  • ENGINEERING: Guangzhou Hanhua Architects+Engineers Co Ltd
    FACADE CONSULTANT: Deqiang Zhang, Jiehong Tang, Qi Tan
    RENDERING: Xaa-Cg Studio

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