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Taiwan's new 'green library' features 'tree of life' design concept

Taoyuan City Library to open for trial run in October

The new main building of the Taoyuan City Library is set to open for trial operation on Oct. 29. (Taoyuan City Library photo)

The new main building of the Taoyuan City Library is set to open for trial operation on Oct. 29. (Taoyuan City Library photo)

TAIPEI (Tawan News) — The new main building for the Taoyuan City Library, constructed as a green building with the central theme of “the tree of life,” will be inaugurated for a trial operation on Oct. 29.

Business Today reported that the library was jointly designed by Taiwan’s T.C.K. Architect Engineer Planner and Japan’s Azusa Sekkei Co. Ltd. The latter not only has abundant experience in public library design but was also one of the main design teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium.

The new main library, which is eight stories tall and includes two underground levels, hopes to become a hub that connects travel and leisure, arts and culture, as well as collection and research. The building is expected to house businesses including a Tsutaya Bookstore, a Starbucks, and Ambassador Theatres, and with a collection of over a million books, it will become the biggest library in Taiwan.

The library will consist of two buildings above the ground — the library and the cinema — which will be connected by a balcony on the second floor.

The first floor of the library will feature the Tsutaya Bookstore, a few food and drink spots, and a high-class auditorium where artists and educational speakers can hold seminars. On the third floor, there will be a children’s theater, a classroom, and a children’s art exhibition space; the sixth floor will be a multi-purpose study room; and the seventh floor is designated as a “cloud reading room” to satisfy visitors’ digital reading needs.

Meanwhile, aside from movie theaters, the cinema building will also be home to themed restaurants, a space for Pili glove puppetry performances, as well as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality facilities.

Taiwan's new 'green library' features 'tree of life' design concept
The interior of the library features a cone-shaped "Eco Tube." (Taoyuan City Library photo)

The design teams adopted the concept of “the tree of life” in the library’s design. Azusa Sekkei Vice President Yasuno Yoshihiko told Business Today that just like eating a tree’s fruit helps a person grow, learning knowledge from books also helps readers grow. “The two images, woven together, creates the symbolic concept of the tree of life; by absorbing knowledge our predecessors accumulate and creating new knowledge from within, humans get to mature.”

The design has five main cores: the “Eco Tube,” “Knowledge Spiral,” “Eco Skin,” “Green Spiral,” and the “wall of earthquake-proof shelves.”

The Eco Tube features a cone-shaped atrium made of a metallic structure and glass extending upwards from the second basement level like a tree. The structure saves energy by allowing plenty of light to enter the building and also facilitates air ventilation throughout the library.

The Knowledge Spiral was created to go hand-in-hand with the Eco Tube. It has the library’s archives and reading areas spiral upwards along with the tube’s structure with spaces decorated with potted plants for a greener environment.

The wood-patterned low-emissivity glass was used to create the library’s Eco Skin, which allows the building to minimize the urban heat created by the island effect. Paired with the Green Spiral, which features balconies that come with plants and large eaves, the building thus becomes a true “green building.”

Additionally, the architects addressed the issue of Taiwan’s frequent earthquakes by specially designing walls of earthquake-proof shelves, securing bookshelves as though they are embraced by a forest of trees. This design is also reflected in the Arts Center Park, which will provide the public with a sense of security and comfort.

Taiwan's new 'green library' features 'tree of life' design concept
The exterior of the library features an Eco Skin and a Green Spiral, making the building truly "green." (Taoyuan City Library photo)