Client: Yeongsu-gu Office, Incheon-si, S.Korea
Place: Songdo-dong, South Korea
Date: 2021 Competition
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev, Claudia Baquedano, Miguel Bello
Four Sides, Four Forests
Songdo library will be a continuous landscape of activities under a canopy. As archives will become progressively digital, we aim for the most flexible space on a single level. Every side of the building will be planted by a different tree species, to shield the building facades from the low sun, and continue the artificial canopy into a natural one. The different characters of the building will be provided by the different trees, Water Birches on the Northeast, Beech trees on the Northwest, Korean Fir trees on the Southeast and a forest of Oak trees on the Southwest.
The Forest of Wisdom
Our proposal is aimed to make the building an emblem of the evolution toward green technologies: The Songdo Library is modelled after a forest, where people will be roaming free, browsing and enjoying reading under the trees.
The Library as a Forest
Our proposal locates all reading areas on the first level of the building, keeping the ground level for the cultural, educational and social facilities. The single level of reading and archives will be covered by a large canopy designed to profit from the solar radiation and shield the reading areas from direct sun. The canopy is designed as a serrated envelope where the 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. These bands are oriented to the South, diagonally to the orthogonal grid of the library, which is parallel to the street grid. Like a tree, the Songdo Library opens up as it grows higher, creating a canopy to shield the forest from the elements.