Together with the Cultural Bureau and the existing Performing Arts Center, the Hsinchu Municipal Library forms a new cultural plaza. The site plan aims to connect the old city moat green belt to the green park continuing northeast. The traditional library programs are closer to the ground while an elevated "cloud" volume symbolizes the future of knowledge exchange. Programs within the “cloud” include reading room, special collection, exhibition, café, and auditorium. The twist of the cloud provides ramp access to the rooftop terrace above the library overlooking the city. The twist also provides structural stability to the large span and the cantilever ends.
Primary programs and circulation are arranged around the central core of the library -- the stacks, the building block of libraries. Traditional elements for all ages, from children to elderly, are located on the first three levels. Particular emphasis is placed on the maker spaces and children reading rooms which both provide terrace access.
Up above, the "cloud" part of the library takes on a more fluid form that represents the future and becomes an important platform for cultural and information exchange.
The base of the library is terraced as a continuation of the green belt and to provide plazas and platforms for outdoor activities. All of the outdoor spaces are landscaped, culminating in the rooftop of the cloud as an accessible public lawn with a breathtaking elevated view of the city. Below, the cloud creates a gateway to the cultural plaza, serving as a canopy to provide shading while drawing wind through to create a comfortable environment for outdoor activities.
The Cultural Bureau, while much smaller in volume, acts as the counterpart to the library.
Its form and materials is carried across from the library for continuity effect. The exposed sides of the vertical core glows at night and serve as a giant billboard for the venues and city at large.
Materiality of the library reflect the past and future of Hsinchu’s cultural heritage. Beige sandstone reminiscent of the ancient 18th century city gate is specified for the base of the buildings. The cloud form above is clad in copper and glass, both heavily used materials in IT manufacturing, to signify Hsinchu's important status as the Silicon Valley of Taiwan.
The project creates a strong gesture towards the future while firmly rooted in its locale.
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