Seodaemun Metropolitan Library
Client: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Place: Seoul, South Korea
Date: 2022 Competition
Area: 9000 m2
Budget: KRW 41.778 billion
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev
Greg Park, Suvin Ju
Our proposal for the new Seoul Metropolitan Library is aimed to become a scaffolding for knowledge, where Seoul citizens will be able to roam freely into the different floors of the building to access its resources and stored materials.
The building is organized in three platforms which revolve around a central core formed by the Automated Retrieval Storage System, which contains most of the physical archive of the building. The ARSS system will be located in the centre of the building so the operation of the robots accessing the storage will become visible from all spaces in the building.
We have reduced the building to its minimum height, in order to make the building as accessible as possible to the public, and to provide the maximum flexibility to the floorplates. The library will become a continuous landscape of activities under a canopy, including individual study or social events. As archives will become progressively digital, we aim for the most flexible space on as few levels as possible.
The three platforms of the building will be opening onto generous terraces surrounding the interior areas, which will be treated as outdoor extensions of the public areas of the library, and densely vegetated, providing outdoor reading spaces, shielding the building envelope from direct solar exposure, and creating a layer of comfortable microclimate around the building envelope which will be used as a public space for the building. The vegetation of the facades, enabled through a linear planter and an external trellis made with steel cables will help to retain the water collected on the building and use it as an environmental regulator through evapotranspiration.
The roof of the building, which has a floorplate of 50,40 x 50,40m will be entirely covered with a serrated roof profile, oriented to the South, to provide diffuse daylight to all the areas of the Adult collections and the Administration. This canopy has been designed to profit from the solar radiation while shielding the reading areas from direct sun. The canopy’s south-facing planes are covered with photovoltaic panels, tilted 33° for optimal performance, while the north facing ones are clerestories tilted 37° (the maximum solar azimuth) to block direct sunlight into the library space.