Shanghai Library East, Shanghai, China
As one of the most populous cities in the world, Shanghai needed a future proof innovative library for its growing population. Won by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, as part of an international competition, the new 115,000 square meter library will be located in the Pudong District—the area of the city known for its iconic skyline, and will sit on the edge of Century Park—the largest park in the city spread over 140 hectares.
Tasked with protecting the precious parkland surroundings, the project is conceived as a singular monolithic object floating above the tree canopy within the park. The main library volume floats above two pavilions that house a 1200 seat performance venue, exhibition and events space and a dedicated children’s library, that will all open up towards a series of landscape courtyards and gardens.
Dr. Wu Jianzhong, Former Head of Shanghai Library
Mr Chen Chao, Current Head of Shanghai Library
Traditional Chinese Gardens are a landscape style evolved over three thousand years. Traditionally created by emperors and later by scholars as a place for reflection and thought. A key point of focus in a traditional Chinese garden is a fake mountain or rock often referred to as a Taihu Stone—a porous limestone formed of holes that frame views and encourage investigation and contemplation. Shanghai Library East is conceived as a point of focus in an urban scale Chinese garden, with an atrium space of holes and connections.