Ningbo New Library, Ningbo, China
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 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.
Xu Yibo, Head of Ningbo Library, Library Secretary