The first completed library project by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in our Shanghai studio, Ningbo New Library, is China’s first library to be nominated for the International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) “Public Library of the Year.”
This is the third time work by Schmidt Hammer Lassen has been nominated for “Public Library of the Year” by IFLA! In 2016, Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark won the award; In 2019, Tūranga, Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand, was nominated; this year, the Ningbo New Library won the favor of the judges again.
2021 IFLA “Public Library of the Year” award is exceptionally competitive. Affected by the epidemic, IFLA cancelled the award in 2020. This year, IFLA celebrates libraries built both in 2019 and 2020. The jury has narrowed 32 libraries down to five nominees in the quest for this year’s winner. The other four finalists come from very different parts of the world, including Marrickville Library (Australia), Oslo Public Library (Norway), Het Predikheren (Belgium), Forum Groningen (Holland).
Nominated libraries are distinguished by sustainable recycling of materials, natural daylight incorporated into the buildings, and many unique, architectural details. The winner will be announced in August 2021.
The 31800-square-meter Ningbo New Library includes about 1.5 million books, 3.5 million electronic books, 1800 seats, and 2000 network nodes. We also introduced a series of new functions—outdoor terrace, lecture hall, art space, music classroom, multi-media room, recording room, makerspace, cafe, etc. Consequently, it promotes and supports a vision of socially oriented development.
From its opening to January 2021, the library had received nearly 1.8 million readers. In March 2020, Ningbo Library was awarded the 2019 Starred Library of Promoting Reading by the Library Society of China.