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Project Name: The Library of SONGDO International City Architecture Firm: aoe Firm Location: Beijing Gross Built Area: 8199.5Sq Project location: # 115-2, Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon (in Songdo International City) Lead Architects: Larry Wen, Design Team: Jichang Pan, Xiangting Li, Ye Wang, Ruixue Fan, Yu Lu, Zhiyu Chang, Chen Liu (Interior), Yawen Xue (Interior) Clients: Architecture Division. Yeonsu-gu office, Incheon-si, S.Korea Structure Engineer: Arup Group Limited Façade Engineer: Inhabitgroup Interior: aoe interiors


Songdo International City is located in the vicinity of Incheon Port, 56 km west of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The city is only a 15-minute drive away from Incheon Airport, its ideal geographical location makes it a better place for business and trades in Northeast Asia. Songdo International City is known for being a tech-based, intellectual, and eco-city. While the infrastructure of the city is growing mature, the development of more cultural buildings, such as this public library, is expected to be a key indicator to carry out a cultural purpose into the city and hoped to draw closer connections with their living citizens.

The concept of this library starts from understanding the true nature of this library that it will not only be as a landmark in a city, but the importance of its publicity that connects with their local citizens and tourists. Therefore, two key spaces were carved out to create a Reading Hall (towards the south-facing natural view) and a Community Living Hall (towards north facing city/community) for the citizens/visitors to gather and possibly to host events or exhibitions. It is hoped that this new-generation library would bring great reading/learning experiences to the public, and being a local venue for events, gatherings, exhibitions to happen at the same time.

The rounded form responds best to its surrounding context, it allows maximum access from different directions, minimized the impact on the neighboring kindergarten, and maximizing the open space for their citizens to gather. Moreover, based on accurate calculations by the designer, the building leans at an angle of 18.5° to the south to avoid direct sunlight in summer, and keep warm in winter, creating a bright, comfortable, and energy-saving space for reading and events. A concrete core wall with a cantilever-truss system is used as the structural system. According to calculations by engineers, the reading hall uses only 4 diagonal structural columns for diagonal bracing, so that visitors enjoy the most extensive space for reading and viewing. After careful consideration, charred wood cladding and glass curtain were selected as the main materials for the façade. The combination of these two materials not only brings contrasts to visual appearances. It also adapts to the local context climatically, the charred wood is expected to last for 80 to 100 years, with minimum maintenance needed.