Songdo is thought of as a completely sustainable, high-tech city, but which could pay closer attention to the human interactions and the creation of communities in its neighborhoods. Our proposal for the Songdo International City Library Design Competition focused on creating encounter opportunities, sustainable choices and urban continuity on the pedestrian level.
To create a link with the neighboring plot, which is also a public function, we opted for a volume cut at 45 degrees, thus creating a main façade facing south. Here we opted for a zig-zag curtain wall with photovoltaic capture systems and this increased the exposure area by about 40% and therefore the amount of energy produced. The terraces and the atrium create a permanent interaction between the indoor study spaces and the outdoor areas such as the Yellow Sea, the University and the Golf Club. Also, the roof is extended above the terraces on the second floor to provide protection and to create as large an area as possible for solar panels, which is about 1450 sqm.
The flexibility of the spaces is another important aspect in this project. Some zones should be able to readapt according with future needs. For example, the auditorium is actually a multifunctional room by having retractable seats. Furthermore, the free level height of 550cm in the General Materials zone was especially designed to allow the creation of intermediate floors if at some point additional areas would be needed. Another advantage is that natural light penetrates on a larger surface. During the summer the heat migrates to the upper area where it is absorbed by the concrete slab.
The 10 meters high carousel shelf system is the main symbol of this library, being a fusion between technology and a more traditional library. The user connects to an app and orders the desired book. Similarly with the scrolling on a mobile phone, the shelf containing the book starts to go down. After that, as soon as the protection panel rises, the user can lift the book from its shelf. This solution gives access to a total of 10 thousand independent volumes on a 7.7 by 10 meters area. In addition to utility and space saving, this innovative system would also have a catchy effect for the public.