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Municipal Library in Changshu


    The architectural design of the municipal library is based on some reflects on the neo-vernacular architecture in Yangtse Delta.

    Firstly, the layout of the building follows the traditional rules of the building system in this region.

    The organization of space sequence in the library strictly follows the rules of traditional building system in the Yangtse Delta. In traditional building system, there is a space sequence , which indicates the character of the space. Usually it begins with an open space, then there is a main hall. These spaces are public spaces. Passing the main hall, people will enter different courtyards, corridors and buildings. These spaces are private spaces. In the library, there is also a space sequence like that, which includes small rectangular plaza, main lobby, corridors, courtyards and functional spaces.

    Secondly, the paralleled courtyard system creates a sense of cultural place in this building.

    Among the spaces, the paralleled courtyard system is one of the most distinguished characters of the layout pattern for the physical environment of the traditional vernacular buildings in Yangtse Delta. In the library, there are four different courtyards, which combine different buildings together and create the identity of the library. They are the public plaza, the water-yard, the tree-yard, and the bamboo-yard.

    Thirdly, water is used as an important landscape element.

    As mentioned before, for Chinese people influenced by Confucious, water means intelligence. Besides the water-yard, water is used as an important landscape element. In Changshu, the entrance of the traditional school is a bridge over a small pool. This pattern is developed here to design the main entrance of the building. Over the large shallow water pool around the south and east façade, there is a wide entrance to the small plaza.

    Fourthly, to meet the demands of the local inhabitants, a pedestrian system through the building is made.

    The two ends of the pedestrian system are the stairs beside the main lobby and the stairs in the south. The platform to the west of the tree-yard and the roof of the main lobby are the body of the system. The inhabitants can enjoy the scenes along the pedestrian system without disturbing the operation of the building.

Fifthly, functional elements are integrated comprehensively in the building. 

For instance, the windows on the east façade are designed as concave window or corner window to prevent the sunshine from shining directly into the reading space. And the vertical sun-shading element placed elegantly on the façade.


2005 | First prize of excellent architectural design of Ministry of Education (ranking first)
2005 | WA China Architecture Award
2004 | Second prize of excellent architectural design of Ministry of construction (ranking first)