A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Tainan Public Library in Taiwan was held on Friday, May 26, 2017. The library, designed by Mecanoo architecten in partnership with Kaohsiung-based MAYU architects+, will be built by Fu Tsu Construction and is due in 2019.
Rational yet elegant structural lines and a sensitive use of light and shadow characterise the building’s timeless design. The 37,000 m² building will feature reading rooms, special collections, study spaces, a children’s area, café, a 180-seat conference hall, a 290-seat auditorium and public sunken courtyards. Mecanoo and MAYU won the design competition for the library in 2016.
The library’s perimeter increases on each level, creating a large cantilever that provides shade to the immediate surroundings of the transparent building. The top floor is clad with a delicate second skin of vertical louvres which filter the light and reduce solar heat gain. Typical window patterns of Tainan are transposed onto louvres, representing the city’s evolving relationship with its traditions. The new library is a built expression of the social, cultural and traditional facets that have amalgamated to form the city of Tainan.