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Songdo Library, Seoul, South Korea 2021

Our design for Songdo Library creates a dynamic cultural space that is welcoming and accessible to the whole community. The design concept is a physical manifestation of the journey made by visitors through the building. The whole site is arranged to be open and welcoming, with inside and outside spaces flowing seamlessly together.

The library’s ‘Y’-shape establishes three linked external spaces, each with their own character and function: a public plaza and gathering space; a lively children’s playground; and a tranquil community garden. These generous public spaces are interconnected by a series of pedestrian routes which enhance connectivity with the surrounding urban infrastructure.

On entering the library, visitors are taken on a journey via a fluid, winding route that leads though the double-height entrance foyer towards a series of stepped platforms. Bright, airy and inviting, these spaces offer a welcoming and relaxed environment for learning and collaboration. A variety of study zones house a wide range of resources, information services and learning opportunities. Book collections and quiet reading areas in climate-controlled spaces sit alongside creative, naturally-ventilated spaces for group learning and educational activities.

The ground floor incorporates an auditorium to the south which can operate as a stand-alone facility. The first floor houses an open-plan exhibition space and cafe. A rooftop walkway allows library users to relax and enjoy spectacular views of the city and incorporates sustainability measures such as rainwater collection and PVs.

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