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Mecanoo win architecture competition to design Tainan Public Library and cultural centre

Dutch design studio Mecanoo have won the architecture competition to design the new Tainan Public Library in Taiwan.

The firm – known for their innovative library designs, including the Stirling Prize-nominated Library of Birmingham and the forthcoming New York Public Library renovation – have proposed a 35,000sq m (376,700sq ft) building featuring a transparent stepped facade and below-grade courtyards.

The library will feature a 200-seat auditorium, reading rooms, study spaces, a children’s play area, a café, a conference hall and public meeting spaces.

“The design represents the meeting of cultures, generations and histories,” said the studio in a statement. “It will have natural materials, like stone and wood, rational yet elegant structural lines and a sensitive use of light and shadow characterise the building’s timeless design.”

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.

Mecanoo are working in partnership with Taiwanese studio MAYU architects+ on the €40m (US$44m, £31.2m) project, which is expected to open at the end of 2018.

An exclusive interview with Mecanoo’s founder and creative director, Francine Houben, features in the forthcoming issue of CLADmag.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Houben, who has previously described libraries as “the cathedrals of our time,” expands on her studio’s approach to library design.

“Libraries are about so much more than books,” she says. “They’re about meeting other people, learning from them and creating things.

“The world of Mecannoo is warm, it's human, it’s well-detailed, it's reacting to local culture,” she adds. “Our projects are very different but what unites them is the idea of people, place and purpose.”

The studio have recently completed work on a diamond-inspired Hilton hotel at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, a number of other cultural and leisure projects are underway in Tainan, including a man-made lagoon by MVRDV, a new museum of fine arts by Shigeru Ban and an international baseball stadium.

Mecanoo  architecture  design  competition  Tainan Public Library  Taiwan  libraries 
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Dutch design studio Mecanoo have won the architecture competition to design the new Tainan Public Library in Taiwan. The firm – known for their innovative library designs, including the Stirling Prize-nominated Library of Birmingham and the forthcoming New York Public Library renovation – have proposed a 35,000sq m (376,700sq ft) building featuring a transparent stepped facade and below-grade courtyards. The library will feature a 200-seat auditorium, reading rooms, study spaces,
CLD,VAT,PRO,ARC,DES,DEV
The competition-winning design for the building 'represents the meeting of cultures, generations and histories' / Mecanoo
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