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The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Taiwan Architecture News - Sep 6, 2019 - 00:03   1120 views

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Taiwan's renown architecture firm JJP Architects has created a new library of dynamic space in Taichung City. The building originally envisioned as merely a replacement for the conventional Taichunga Library, the project brief eventually called for the creation of a digital library which upon completion will be known as the National Library of Public Information. 

The final project will aim to transcend its municipal role and become a national resource for the accessing, sharing, learning, storing and publishing of digital information. the design of the National Library of Public Information has established a new model for future civic projects in Taiwan.

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Ground floor plan. Drawing © JJP Architects

An Urban Artifact of Continuity

Situated between dense development areas and the urban greenbelt, the layout of the site and the building is designed to mediate the transition with its main entrance fronting the green belt, easily accessible circulation paths, the grand steps connecting the plaza and a central court embraced by the L shaped building. Furthermore, the shifting strip windows both literally and figuratively reflect the bustling flow of traffic around the site. The project seeks to acknowledge the urban history of Taichung, which developed from the excavation of the irrigation waterways since its first settlement in the 18th century. The architecture manifestation is the “horizontal flow” of folding skin and shifting strip windows that evoke ripples through the changing light and shadows. 

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Image © Weishih Hsieh

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Image © Weishih Hsieh

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Image © Weishih Hsieh

Outside-in Reading Areas 

The strip windows of various heights and inclination bring various reading environments for the discerning users. Such areas include wide expanses fitted with lounge chairs and reading tables, a bar table that overlooks the atrium, a semi-outdoor story area, and a series of round skylights that allow glimpses of the shifting sky.

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Study area. Image © Kevin Wu

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


Rest area. Image © Kevin Wu


Reading area. Image © Kevin Wu

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


 Reference area. Image © Weishih Hsieh

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


Image © Kevin Wu

Each floor’s spatial arrangement, color and furniture design takes its cue from the corresponding outside view – event, trunk, crown, the city skyline, and cloud. 

1F Digital Lobby: The children learning area employs a forest and animal theme with colorful elements such as bookshelves that recall hedges to create a spatial experience. 

2F Multimedia: Vertical wood arches and light pillar echo the tree trunks outside the windows. 

3F Periodicals: The tree crowns are transformed into bookshelves and furniture for reading, creating an atmosphere of being in the treetop. 

4F Science and Technology: Taking its cue from the urban skyline, the bookshelves are staggered in height and feature brightly painted, lighting integrated display frames that evoke city lights through windows. 

5F Humanities: The cloud-like curved white furniture echoes the blue sky above and is enhanced by the natural light filtered through the round skylights.


The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


Concept of Interior design. Drawing © JJP Architects 

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


Section study diagram. Drawing © JJP Architects  


Materials & Methods of Construction

The building’s free-formed skin with its curved planes and organic tree trunk-shaped columns tested the limits of design and construction in Taiwan. Starting with the structural slanted columns and slab edges, then a series of zigzagging curtain wall sub-frames that approximates the final undulating surface, the skin’s design was conceived from the inside-out. Finally, a composite wall system with integrated EPS insulation that molds to the folding surfaces, which are then cladded with pearl-white round mosaic tiles of eight different sizes enabling the skin to achieve a monocoque appearance.  Throughout the process, advanced 3D design software and several on-site mock-ups were utilized. 


The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


Structural analysis. Drawing © JJP Architects

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan


Section model. Image © JJP Architects

The Continuous Networks of Public Arts - The National Library of Public Information in Taiwan

Image © Weishih Hsieh

Project facts

Project Name: National Library of Public Information

Location: Taichung City, Taiwan

Designed: 2007-2008

Completed: 2009-2012

Architect: JJP Architects

Principal-In-Charge  Jason Chen

Project Team (Architectural/ Landscape/ Interior):

Joshua Jih Pan, Sheng-Tien Yeh, Shang-Ping Lin, Chi-Ming Chang, Chien-Yuan Liang, Vincent Wang, Chia-Jung Hsieh, Ady Tsai, Hsiao-Mei Shih, Yu-Ting Wu, Tien-Kai Yang, Shih-Fang Huang, Shih-Wei Liang, Han-Shen Chen, Chi-Hsuan Peng, Tien-Yi Pan, Kuan-Ju Hou, Genie Huang, Sara Hung, Chun-Lung Liu, Cong-Sian Chen, Sung-Po Huang, Jen-Chieh I, Chun-Sheng Lee, Wen-Sen Lin, Chu-Ching Chen, Chih-Jen Liu, Hui-Chi Chen, Chung-Ping Yeh, Cheng-En Wang, Cheng-Chih Kao, Shang-I Tsai

General Contractor:  Kong Chou Construction Enterprise

Top image © Weishih Hsieh

All images © Weishih Hsieh unless otherwise stated. 

All images and drawings courtesy of JJP Architects

> via JJP Architects