Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Exterior View Frontal North Entrance

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Exterior View from Plaza

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Site Axon

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Interior Court View

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Interior Between Stacks

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Building Section Perspective

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Building Section

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Concept Sketch

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Structural Concept Axonometric Diagram

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Concept Diagram of Overlaying Grids

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

East Library Elevation

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

South Library Elevation (Entrance from underground parking)

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Exploded Plan Axon

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Basement Plan

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Library of Songdo
Library of Songdo

Site Plan at Street Level

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1/2

Library of Songdo

Songdo, S. Korea

2021

Type: Cultural Institution

Size: 101,400 sf

Project Text

Homi Bhabha’s concept of “third space”, which acknowledges nuanced conditions of hybridity and diversity in cultural identity, as a conceptual platform upon which to build a contemporary library. Whereas traditional libraries represent an absolute space designed to fulfill a single sociocultural function, “third space” is indeterminate, open to appropriation, playful and generative. The library as third space resists traditional librarian concepts and classification systems, which are often biased by Western philosophy and can too rigidly structure the use of library space. It can accommodate the multiple paradoxes embedded in the 21st C. library:

“the World Wide Web is a library but libraries continue to perform pivotal civic, educational and economic roles; information is readily at our fingertips, but we still need help navigating its past, present and future multiply versioned formats; we love solitary and mobile modes of study and work as much as we need places for collaboration, random interactions and discoveries.

This project explores the architectural opportunities to manifest these pluralistic modes of intellectual and physical production by organizing space around 3 “Spatial Shelves.”  

1— The Central Collective Space, a space of books and void. 

2 — The in-between Circulatory Space, a space, a space of movement and linearity. 

3 — The Programed Space, a space of rooms, repose, and utility. 

This layering of three concepts of spatial use, organization, and flexibility influence all other aspects of the design from materiality to lighting. 

Credits

Design

Seth McDowell

Images:

©mcdowellespinosa architects