Ningbo Library - exterior

Ningbo New Library

Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen
Open Marketplace

The Ningbo New Library forms the focal point in a new cultural quarter at the heart of the East New Town, a 16km2 new town for the important coastal city.

Based on the concept of an open marketplace that combines the most popular collections with open seating and study spaces the library opens to a new wetland landscape connecting visitors directly with their new landscaped surroundings.

From the marketplace visitors are led further up into the library collections via a central 28m high atrium in the form of a giant book stack containing study desks, reading booths and media spaces.

The exterior is clad in travertine stone with contrasting dark glazed cuts that create public landscaped external reading rooms for use in Ningbo’s pleasant spring and autumn months.

Ningbo LIbrary - sketch
Cosmic Unity

Ningbo as a city holds an important place in the history of Libraries in China. The city is the home to the Tianyi Pavilion, the oldest existing library in China. Founded in China in 1561 during the Ming dynasty it boasted a collection of 70,000 antique books. The name Tian Yi refers to the concept of cosmic unity – an idea the can be seen as a direct link to the Open Marketplace concept within the New Ningbo Library.

Ningbo Library - exterior
During the first week of opening the Library exceeded 7,000 visitors in a single day.
Ningbo Library - model
What it is
New Library for the coastal city of Ningbo on the edge of an ecological wetland.
Ningbo Library - interior
Ningbo Library - interior
“The new building creates the opportunity for people to deeply explore the wonders of a library, bringing people closer to the library, and introducing the new era of our library 2.0.”

Xu Yibo, Head of Ningbo Library, Library Secretary

Ningbo Library - interior
Ningbo Library - interior
Ningbo Library - interior
Book stack for people
For years libraries have been defined by their collection and the spaces defined by the book stacks that contain them. As we look into the future libraries are becoming more and more defined by the citizens that use them as much as the collection and activities they support. To reflect this the central space at Ningbo Library is a giant book stack for people – providing a space where citizens can come together, relax, connect, meet and study.

Project Team

Chris Hardie