Dong Gong, a Chinese architect, tells the story of the Sanlian Bookstore Public Library. The library was built by the sea. It is a space to experience the relationship between you and the sea, with a book in your hand.
SOUNDBITE (Mandarin): Dong Gong, Chinese architect
This building seems to be built upon a subtle principle. I want it to look very simple so that people would want to walk in, but at the same time it gives you a sense of mystery. You will feel the things that move you when you walk inside.
(Dong Gong Sanlian Bookstore Public Library)
When we were in the process of designing, we saw a painting of Wyeth in a book sitting on my desk. It portrays an old man sitting on a rock facing the sea waves in the distance. There's a sense of loneliness lingering in the painting, which resembles the subtle feeling that we wanted to input into our design. It is a library that is 450 square meter big. The entrance area is low, then you will enter a two-story tall reading room, which is the main part of this building. The whole library is shaped in a stair pattern because we didn't want people sitting closer to the outside, to block people on the inside. Your sight won't be distracted by anyone else, so everybody has an equal view of the sea.
If this area is perceived as a grandstand, then the sea is like a show, which is an underlying theme of this space. There is a small display of light pipe on the roof. It's actually a ventilated hole as well.
Every day for an hour or two around 3 p.m., there are small, light spots projected in this area through these holes. They make this room seem alive, like it's breathing. Light can have its own mood and atmosphere. So we were hoping to reveal the lighting's fullest potential through this space.
There's a meditation room next to the reading space. It's designed to give people a corner where they can carefully ponder their thoughts. This room is dark for most of the day, There's only a certain period of time when the sun will shine through the gap. When we talk about lighting, it is always about bright and dark, or the movement of the light, which resembles the plot of a dance.
Apart from these rooms, There is a separate activity lounge, divided by the platform outside. There are two main sources of lighting in the lounge. In the morning, you can see the warm, sunshine rays sparkling bright from the east side, while the bleak light comes from the roof window on the west. It changes to the opposite side in the afternoon.
The warm light shoots straight through the roof window, while the gloomy light reflects through the windows on the east. We want to realize a state of life involving people and the ocean. This is a space to experience the relationship between you and the sea, with a book in your hand.