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Library for Zhejiang University
Zhejiang Province, China
MADA s.p.a.m.

Unusual geometry characterizes this unique academic library

© Jin Zhan

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

To see the people and products behind this project click on 'people & products.'

This library is located on the Ningpo campus of Zhejiang University, which was also master planned by the same architect. Because the campus was constructed in its entirety within a year, developing a traditional, time-cultivated, identity was very difficult, if not impossible. The library’s ambition is to achieve a strong identity. To fulfill this, the architects’ strategy was to create a clear character distinguishing it from the campus as a whole. This deviation is expressed through both its logistic centrality and its architectural banality. It simultaneously occupies the hinge point between living and teaching quarters of the campus, the nodal point of the monumental common green running east-west, and the major internal circulation line running south-north. Its central location makes the library and open space around it the heart of the campus.

The library takes form and connotation from the ancient Chinese Scripture Pavilion (cang-jing-ge), a sacred room within a temple made to accommodate religious books. With a seven-story mass rising above a concrete pavilion, the building is monumental, rising high within the plane of the level green around it, with colorful irregular cut-outs in the façade and a playful use of color within the cut-out areas.

Inside, all book stacks are densely packed and arranged along the building perimeter, resulting in a large void at the center. Within this void, floating spaces accommodate public functions including an index room, Internet café, and reading lounge. A series of skylights on the roof bring in natural light. Within the dense perimeter made by books and walls, various reading areas are carved out.

Formal name of Project:
Library for Zhejiang University

Zhejiang Province, China

Gross square footage:
7,010 m2

Total construction cost:
73.7 millions RMB

Zhejiang University

MADA s.p.a.m.
758 Nanjing Xi Lu, #11A
Jingan District, Shanghai, P. R. China
86-21-62177407 (phone)
86-21-62177437 (fax)


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