Building begins on Mecanoo's 'timeless' Tainan Library

Ground has broken on the new Tainan Public Library in Taiwan, designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo.

The 37,000sq m (398,200sq ft) building – which will feature a transparent stepped facade and below-grade courtyards – will have a 290-seat auditorium, a large conference hall, reading rooms, study spaces, a children’s play area, a café, a conference hall and public meeting spaces.

The entrance hall will rise three levels up to show the library’s internal configuration and the layering of floors, and the building’s wooden fenestration will filter daylight, creating light patterns on the stone floor.

The library’s perimeter will increase on each level, creating a large cantilever that provides shade to the surroundings of the building. The top floor is clad with a delicate second skin of vertical louvres which filter the light and reduce solar heat gain.

Louvres will be decorated with traditional local window patterns; one of several touches that Mecanoo have said “represent the meeting of cultures, generations and histories of the city.”

Mecanoo, who won the design competition last year, have previously described how “natural materials, like stone and wood, rational yet elegant structural lines and a sensitive use of light and shadow will characterise the building’s timeless design.”

The practice are working in partnership with Taiwanese studio MAYU architects+ on the €40m (US$45m, £35m) project, which is being built by Fu Tsu Construction and is expected to open in 2019.

Mecanoo  Tainan Library  Tainan  Taiwan  architecture  design 
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Ground has broken on the new Tainan Public Library in Taiwan, designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo. The 37,000sq m (398,200sq ft) building – which will feature a transparent stepped facade and below-grade courtyards – will have a 290-seat auditorium, a large conference hall, reading rooms, study spaces, a children’s play area, a café, a conference hall and public meeting spaces. The entrance hall will rise three levels up to show
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Louvres will be decorated with traditional local window patterns to 'represent the meeting of cultures, generations and histories of the city' / Mecanoo
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