Seoul Metropolitan Dong-daemun Library
Client: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Budget: KRW 139,293 million
AZPML Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev
THE SEOUL PUBLIC LIBRARY IN DONGDAEMUM – AN OPEN COMMUNITY HUB
Our proposal for the Seoul Public Library in Dongdaemun is aimed to provide a flexible space where information is collected and preserved, and can be easily accessed by people. It will also be a space for people to meet and engage in the production and sharing of knowledge, skills and narratives. Our library of the future is an open community hub, able to fit almost any programs related to culture, education and information.
A MULTILEVEL CONTAINER: THE LOGGIA OF THE 21ST CENTURY
The building is modelled as a loggia, with a regular structural grid forming a space of infinite possibilities. Like loggias, the building presents a rigorous vertical order, reminiscent of some of these buildings, capable to adjust to almost any form of occupation. Our proposal provides three different levels of open space capable to host multiple activities:
1.The lower level is located at +16.00 and is semi-sunken in the topography, opening to the ground level on its Southeast and Northeast sides. This level is lit from the façade and has a visually and physically permeable border, establishing continuity between the interior and the gardens through a series of canopies. The canopies will create a space where people can read in the garden, shielded from the sun and the rain.
On this level we have located the Education facilities, the Museum, Art Gallery, Seoul Collection, the Digital Experience and the the F&B, because they require a closer access from the public. The main access to this area is from the Northeast corner.
The Northwestern bay of this level contains the book archives which extend below the Southern Library Garden.
2.The first level is located at +22.00 and is lit primarily from the facades. It is also lit via three large openings to the roof clerestories. It is an open floor with a 16,80×8,40 grid and a floor-to-ceiling height of 8,1m. On its West side it contains the automated storage, which is directly connected to the book storage on the lower level. The operation of the robots will be exposed to the public on this level. The folded façade produces a series of façade alcoves for informal reading and meeting.
3.The second level is located at +31,00 and offers an open floorplate with long spans, suitable for any program that may need to take place. It is lit from above, using a serrated roof oriented to the North to achieve diffuse daylight at all times. The opaque faces of the roof are pointed to the South with an angle of 31,5⁰ which optimizes the performance of the roof surface as a solar farm. The roof corrugations continue to the facades, producing the same type of alcoves on the edge.
4.A mezzanine level with the administrative and maintenance offices has been located along the Northwestern side of the building at level +26,50. The administration areas will be accessible from the Northwest corner of the building, on the first level.
5.The building has also an underground parking structure, located under the ground level, with a capacity for 254 vehicles, and an area for the Technical rooms.
TIMBER CONSTRUCTION: Prefabrication, Insulation and Airtightness.
The building has been conceived to be built in wood, except for the underground areas which will require a reinforced concrete basement. The timber construction will reduce the embodied energy to a minimum, while improving insulation levels and airtightness.
The building is based on a grid of 8,40 x 8,40m gluelam post and beam construction system. The slabs are formed by a bidirectional system, covered by CLT boards plus a concrete layer. The floor will be finished in solid wood, like all the other interior surfaces.
The facades will be fixed on this basic structure, and will be entirely prefabricated including the timber surfaces and the glazed elements. All external cladding will be made with photovoltaic panels. The corrugated geometry from the cladding will contribute to the lateral stability of the building.
FROM FOLDED SCREENS TO PDFS
The building is is inspired by the Korean folding screens representing arcane cosmologies (the Irworobongdo), or featuring calligraphic texts. The folding screen is a vernacular arcane of the book, as a way of “compressing” information (visual or written) within small scale elements: a precursor of the contemporary forms of data compression.
Our proposal is a flexible container wrapped with folded screens on all faces, including the roof. The external cladding of these surfaces will be made systematically with photovoltaic panels. The roof alone provides approximately 6,600m2 of optimally oriented solar panels, which ensure the building will be net zero. The solar panels’ glass finish offers a durable and maintenance-free cladding material.
The solar-active folded screens are perforated with different degrees on the different floors, providing less daylight on the top level (because daylight is taken from the skylights and windows are mainly providing views) to the ground level, where we have sought maximum transparency to connect, visually and physically, to the gardens.