Heyuan New Library

100M - 1Bn
1-5 Stories

The Hakka are one of the largest cultural groups in China. They have distinct and well preserved cultures and traditions. Origi-nating from Central and Northern areas of China, the Hakka ancestors migrated to Southern China where they have resided for centuries.

At the beginning of the design process, we conducted extensive research into local Hakka culture and architecture. The Hakka building style is one that is unique to villages in southern China. The three most common types of Hakka buildings are the Tulou, Weilongwu and Wufenglou. Among these three, Wufenglou is the most popular type in the region and symbolizes of Hakka architecture. Wufenglou consists of a lower hall, middle hall and main hall, arranged from the front to the back along the axial line of the whole residence.

The Heyuan New Library is located at the center of the Park, overlooking the entire artificial lake from the foot of a small mountain. This location is ideal from a Feng-Shui point of view. The major façade will be facing a large open water landscape with small mountains behind the building. The architectural design is inspired by Hakka architecture, the essence of the design based on a structure of five functional blocks arranged on a sloping terrain, overlooking the lake, connecting land to water.

For the elevation, we were inspired by the key design elements of the traditional Hakka architecture: a large main entry, small windows and thick walls. We used textured concrete panels with tall narrow windows on the front elevation, and pattern bricks on the side elevations. The configuration also helped the building to achieve passive energy saving and sustainability. The elevation embodies the traditional Hakka architecture, whilst the white colour scheme reflects modern minimalism.

In contrast to the solid, fortress like external elevations, the internal elevations which face the inner courtyard are open and allow for the inflow of natural light. We chose a mixture of clear glass and shade panels for the windows. There is an old Hakka saying, which translates to “better to eat without meat than to live without bamboo”. This saying expresses the Hakka people’s preference for bamboo. This inspired us to choose treated bamboo for the shade panels. We are very pleased with the overall effect of the bamboo shades – they are an authentic, traditional material but they have been used to create a modern aesthetic.

The design of the library uses a staggered layer concept to match the natural sloping terrain on which the building sits. While the design of the entrance plaza is visually pleasing and provides visitors a generous relaxation space close to the water, the creation of a central garden enhances the structures’ ability to naturally ventilate and illuminate itself, Furthermore, the addition of the roof garden creates a natural barrier against the summer heat and enhances the building’s sustainability. The Heyuan Library is not only a key feature of the Heyuan Cultural Park but also a place to immerse yourself in culture, literature, knowledge and nature.

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