The Renovation of Ankang Library

Shanxi, China

Project Background

Ankang is a prefecture-level city located in the south of Shanxi Province in the People’s Republic of China, bordering Hubei province to the east, Chongqing municipality to the south, and Sichuan province to the southwest. Located in the old Ankang city, the original library was opened 1984 and over the duration of  time, the library building and its facilities have started to fall behind the fast-developing information age in terms of hardware and software, prompting a need for a comprehensive regeneration program.

The renovated Ankang library consists of three buildings: The North Building facing the street, the Main Building of the library positioned in the centre and the self-use office building at the southern end of the courtyard. The renovation focuses on the North Building and Main Building.

The design principle aim was to rejuvenate the old library into a seemingly new, open and welcoming community space, highlighting and creating a strong contrast with its existing context.

Aerial View ©2020 Lian He
Aerial View ©2020 Lian He

Renovation of North Building

Located at the crossroads of the urban street network, the North building utilized a mixed structural systems and outdated design techniques in its construction. Before renovation, the first and the second floors of the building were rented out to small restaurants and shops, while the third floor of the building was built using color steel plates and was an unapproved construction work.

During the renovation of the North Building, the facade decoration elements and the unapproved constructed floor (third floor) were removed. However, the original building structure and exterior wall were left unchanged. According to the orthogonal grid formed by columns and floors, four intersecting building volumes were introduced into the main facade of North Building, which reshaped the richness and expressiveness of the building.

North Building ©2020 Lian He
North Building ©2020 Lian He
North Building ©2020 Lian He
North Building ©2020 Lian He

Among them, transparent glass curtain walls were adopted in the two diagonally opposite volumes, which narrows the distance between the library and the citizens and shows an open and friendly temperament. The other two volumes were wrapped in perforated aluminum cladding, which covers the original external wall of the building on the premise of satisfying natural lighting, and at the same time forms the overlapping effect of double facades and the combination of opaque and translucent.

Transparent glass curtain ©2020 Lian He
Transparent glass curtain ©2020 Lian He
Transparent glass curtain ©2020 Lian He
Transparent glass curtain ©2020 Lian He
Transparent glass curtain ©2020 Lian He
Transparent glass curtain ©2020 Lian He

By controlling the perforated areas, a series of jumping arcs are introduced to the facade along the street, which not only enrich the visual experience, but also act as a metaphor of an open book. The color of the reconstructed building sits in contrast to the language of its urban context, however this juxtaposition also creates harmony in its contrast as this frenetic urban language frames the calmness and tranquility of the regenerated elevation.

Jumping arcs ©2020 Lian He
Jumping arcs ©2020 Lian He
Facade details ©2020 Lian He
Facade details ©2020 Lian He
Facade details ©2020 Lian He
Facade details ©2020 Lian He

Renovation of Main Building

Located in the middle of the courtyard, the main building is a three-story building with frame structure  built in 1980s. The exterior wall of the main building adopts the traditional window-wall system. Over the duration of time the doors and windows have aged badly, in addition to parts of the exterior wall falling away

The renovation principle of the main building is to preserve the original building structure including certain supporting walls, and extract some external walls of the first and third floors of the main facade to improve the transparency and openness of the building. The new building follows the original three-stage characteristics, with transparent glass curtain wall, perforated aluminum cladding and glass curtain wall lined with sunshade curtain on the first to third floors, forming three clear lateral volumes, with a simple and pure shape, just like three books stacked in between the old city buildings.

Main Building ©2020 Lian He
Main Building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Main Building ©2020 Lian He
Main Building ©2020 Lian He
主楼 ©2020 何炼
Main Building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He
Exterior facade details of main building ©2020 Lian He

A Juxtaposition of Place

The two buildings adopt a modern curtain wall system, forming a concise massing and pure colour. The transparent glass curtain wall combined with the delicate perforated aluminum plate create an effect akin to a halo. When the two buildings are seen with the vibrant and disordered old city, the following strong contrast brings unexpected drama and contrast. Forty years of passed time are visible with these two urban realms,  like a surreal space-time dislocation. In the contrast between the new and the old, the two sides contrast each other, so that both new and old have the meaning of existence and form an antagonistic symbiosis. In this context, new and old are neither commendatory nor derogatory, they are merely different state of affairs. In addition, the juxtaposition of place also exists in people’s behavior. Inside the building is a quiet and attentive reading atmosphere, and a window is separated by the street snack’s market. The juxtaposition of these two conditions of place, the calm and tranquility of the library set against the frenetic energy of the city street, creates a counterpoint of tension.

Before-vs-After-Main Building ©2020 Lian He
Before-vs-After-Main Building ©2020 Lian He
Before-vs-After-North Building ©2020 Lian He
Before-vs-After-North Building ©2020 Lian He

Drawings

Renovation Strategy-Main Building ©2020 UUA
Renovation Strategy-Main Building ©2020 UUA
Renovation Strategy-North Building ©2020 UUA
Renovation Strategy-North Building ©2020 UUA
Plan-Main Building-1F ©2020 UUA
Plan-Main Building-1F ©2020 UUA
Plan-Main Building-2F ©2020 UUA
Plan-Main Building-2F ©2020 UUA
Plan-Main Building-3F ©2020 UUA
Plan-Main Building-3F ©2020 UUA
Plan-North Building-1F ©2020 UUA
Plan-North Building-1F ©2020 UUA
Plan-North Building-2F ©2020 UUA
Plan-North Building-2F ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA
外立面详图 ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA
Facade Detail ©2020 UUA

Program Datas

Project name The Renovation of Ankang Library
Design UUA
Website www.u-u-a.com  
Contact e-mail uuadesign@163.com
Design year & Completion Year 2020.3-2020.10
Leader designer & Team Yongzheng Li,Qizhi Li,Tim Mason, Teng Jiang(Project Architect), Liang Deng,Yanfeng Lyu Shengli Zhao, Liye Chen, Falu Wang, Bo Yang  
Project location Ankang, Shaanxing Province, China  
Gross Built Area (square meters) 4000
Photo credits  Lian He
Partners Boyuan Real Estate  
Clients Ankang Library  
Brands / Products used in the projrct Low-iron Glass, White Aluminum Plate, Profiled Perforated Aluminum Plate

Editing and translation: Ing, ©️FULLDES authorized publishing, copyright from the Author, Image copyright from the photographer or Company

Leave a comment