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Snøhetta:Snøhetta’s Beijing City Library has opened doors for visitors as the world’s largest climatized reading space. It is the firm’s latest innovation in the library typology, thirty-five years after they began work on Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The project introduces a contemporary yet indelible place for learning, knowledge-sharing, and socializing to Beijing’s rich cultural and intellectual scene.





2018年,Snøhetta与华东建筑设计研究院(ECADI)合作赢得北京城市图书馆的国际竞赛,并共同完成了该项目。此外,Snøhetta也于同期为美国的三个图书馆进行了设计工作,包括:Charlotte Mecklenburg图书馆、Far Rockaway图书馆,以及Westchester广场图书馆。

The new library is located in Tongzhou District, a designated sub-center of Beijing that is often considered the eastern gateway of the capital. As one of three new major cultural buildings in Tongzhou, the Beijing City Library further establishes the area as both a vibrant district in itself and an extension of Beijing’s urban fabric. It anchors the neighborhood’s ambitious masterplan and will help to catalyze its transformation from a relatively undeveloped area into a lively arts and cultural destination. New transit links to Beijing’s center are underway, promising to further integrate Tongzhou with the city and drive visitors to the sub-center.

Snøhetta was awarded the Beijing City Library in 2018 through an international competition and the project was completed with local partner ECADI. The firm is currently working on three libraries in the United States: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Far Rockaway Library, and Westchester Square Library.




在数字时代重塑图书馆的意义 Reinstating the Library’s Relevance in the Digital Age


A decade or so ago, libraries were thought to be a disappearing typology as digitization has increasingly made information accessible at any time and place. To reinstate the library’s relevance in the 21st century, Snøhetta set out to offer a new vision for how it looks, works, and serves the community. The Beijing City Library draws focus on the physicality of a book as an object and the conscious exercise of turning the pages to take in the written word as the primary experience amidst the picturesque setting of hills, trees, and the Tonghui river.


▽图书馆外观 Library appearance



“正是人们对书籍的热爱使得图书馆能够在数字时代幸存下来,并拥有新的潜力来回馈城市及其公众。”Snøhetta 联合创始人兼合伙人 Kjetil Trædal Thorsen 表示。 “在设计中,我们需要重新诠释身体、心灵和周围环境之间的关系,重新点燃远离屏幕的阅读乐趣。让图书馆继续存在下去。”

“It is the love people have for books that has made libraries survive the digital age and hold new potential to give back more to the city and its public”, notes Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Co-Founder and Partner at Snøhetta. “It is up to us to reinterpret the relationship between body, mind, and the surroundings to rekindle the joy of reading away from the screen. Libraries are here to stay.”




为了重新恢复图书馆作为公共和知识生活的重要支柱角色,并使其不仅仅是一个藏书库,Snøhetta 将这座建筑定位为一个学习、文化和社区中心的城市公共空间。设计借鉴图书馆的历史渊源,有针对性的寻找其时间和地点需求的创新回应,北京图书馆将开放的思想交流和人文对话作为其核心目标。图书馆中设有专门的展览、表演、会议和古籍修复空间。这座建筑通过在书籍、人和自然景观之间建立情感联系,创造了无数的可能性,坚决反驳了“图书馆逐渐被世人遗弃”的观点。

To reestablish the library’s role as an important pillar of public and intellectual life, and become more than a mere repository of books, Snøhetta has positioned the building as a center for learning, culture, and community. Drawing on the historical origins of libraries finding innovative responses to the needs of their time and place, Beijing City Library makes the open exchange of ideas and human dialogue its core purpose. Throughout, there are dedicated spaces for exhibitions, performances, conferences, and the restoration of ancient books. The building firmly rejects the argument of the library becoming a derelict typology with the numerous possibilities it creates, by fostering an emotional connection between books, people, and the natural landscape beyond.




“图书馆在社会中扮演的角色以及人们使用图书馆的方式已经发生了巨大变化。”Snøhetta 合伙人兼亚太区总​​监 Robert Greenwood 提到, “如今,图书馆将作为充满活力的社区空间,实现社交互动和知识共享。”

“The role libraries play in society and the way people use them has vastly changed,” says Robert Greenwood, Partner and Director of Asia Pacific at Snøhetta. “They are now needed to function as vibrant community spaces, enabling social interaction and knowledge-sharing.”



在图书馆内塑造山谷和山丘 Sculpting the Valley and the Hills within the Library

这座被玻璃包裹的建筑将大自然引入阅读空间,从外观看向建筑,也为丰富的室内环境更为透明。图书馆的中心是一个近 16 米高的迎宾广场,阶梯式露台沿着平滑、有节奏的曲线升起。穿过中央的蜿蜒小路,被称为“山谷”,它是建筑物的主要交通路径。山谷的呈现与附近通惠河的河道相互映衬,无缝地延续了远处的景观体验,并连接了南北入口,引导游客进入内部的其他空间。

The glass-lined building invites nature into the reading space and lends transparency to the enriched interior environment when viewed from outside. At the heart of the library is a sweeping, nearly 16-meter-tall welcoming forum off of which rise stepped terraces along smooth, rhythmic curves. Carved through the center is a meandering pathway called the Valley, which serves as the main circulation artery of the building. The Valley mirrors the course of the nearby Tonghui river, seamlessly continuing the experience of the landscape beyond and linking the north and south entrances to lead visitors to all other spaces inside.


▽图书馆内部随地形而起伏的山谷与山丘 Inside the library are valleys and hills that rise and fall with the terrain




The terraced hills rising from the Valley are designed to create a sculpted interior landform that serves as the ground, seating, and shelving—an informal zone with opportunities to relax, talk, or read quietly, all while staying connected to the larger space. Semi-private reading areas and conference rooms are embedded into the hills, while book stacks and table seating are set on long, flat areas atop. This central open area is fully accessible and incorporates one of the largest book Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) in the world.


▽休闲阅读区域 Leisure reading area



高大、细长的柱子在“山谷”和书籍之间形成过渡,这些柱子如雨后春笋般生长,顶部为银杏叶形状的平板,银杏一种有 2.9 亿年历史的中国本土树种。重叠的面板和间隙玻璃互相穿插形成了一个树冠般的屋顶,使过滤后的日光充满室内。在这片银杏树荫下,人们可以登临山顶,俯瞰书谷和远处的地平线。这种体验与周围环境以及书中描绘想象的世界融为一体,让读者能够在这里留下独特的记忆。

Punctuating the large space to transition between the scale of the Valley and the books are tall, slender columns that mushroom into flat panels shaped like ginkgo leaves—referencing a 290-million-year-old tree species native to China. The overlapping panels and the interstitial glass inserts create a canopy-like roof that floods the interiors with filtered daylight. Under this ginkgo canopy, one can reach the summit that overlooks the valley of books and the horizon of the vast landscape beyond. This experience of oneness with the immediate surroundings and the imagined world offered in books allows the reader to forge memories that are unique to the place.


▽高大纤细的白色柱子与顶部银杏叶面板形成的一片银杏林,给人们留下独特记忆 The tall slender white pillars and the top ginkgo leaf panel form a ginkgo forest, leaving a unique memory for people





“The terraced landscape and tree-like columns invite visitors to lift their gaze and focus at a distance, taking in the bigger picture. This is a place where you can be sitting under a tree, reading your favorite book”, says Greenwood. “The Beijing City Library has an intergenerational quality about it, where you would pass on your stories to children and introduce them to the titles you’ve loved.”

At the northern and southern edges of the building where real ginkgo trees are planted at the entry points, the hills focus their views outwards to further enhance the connection with nature. The library celebrates Beijing’s natural and cultural heritage by integrating reading, performance, and landscape together.


▽入口种植有真正的银杏树 The entrance is planted with real ginkgo trees



以可持续技术为图书馆设定绿色标准 Setting the Green Standard for Libraries with Sustainable Technology

北京市图书馆重新思考了当今图书馆如何应对紧迫的气候挑战,同时结合前沿技术来改善到访者体验。通过最大限度地减少隐含碳和运营碳的排放,该建筑获得了中国可达到的最高可持续发展标准——GBEL 三星级标准。该项目既是其环境的管理者,也是其所服务的社区的管理者。

模块化组件和合理化结构网格的使用减少了建筑的制造浪费。对于银杏树柱,单一模块类型在整个建筑的 9x9m 网格上旋转,以提供多样化的外观,同时又能实现高效地制造和安装。这些柱子还采用集成技术来控制室内气候、照明和声学,并从屋顶收集雨水,通过将其输送到绿色基础设施系统来重新用于灌溉。

The Beijing City Library rethinks how libraries today can address the pressing climate challenges while incorporating cutting-edge technology to improve visitor experience. The building achieved China’s GBEL Three Star, the highest attainable sustainability standard in the country, by minimizing both embodied and operational carbon. The project is as much a steward of its environment as of the communities it serves.

The use of modular components and a rationalized structural grid reduces the manufacturing waste for the building. For the ginkgo tree columns, a single module type is rotated on a 9x9m grid throughout the building to give the appearance of variety while being efficient to fabricate and install. These columns also house integrated technology to control interior climate, lighting, and acoustics, as well as collect rainwater from the roof to be reused for irrigation by channeling it to a green infrastructure system.


▽模块化设计,以提供多样化外观的同时形成绿色基础的可持续性 Modular design to provide a diverse look while forming a green foundation for sustainability




Generous roof overhangs reduce solar gain on the glass facades—currently the largest load-bearing glass system in China—achieving an important design element without compromising on sustainability. To further optimize the facade, the design reduces the height of the glass on the east and west wells and uses insulated low-E glass. The roof has integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) construction elements that replace the conventional roofing and facade materials, utilizing the prime exposure of the rooftop to sunlight for renewable energy production.


▽悬挑的玻璃幕墙 Overhanging glass curtain wall




立面和 BMU 工程师:Eckersley O’Callaghan、Meinhardt

Project Name: Beijing City Library
Timeline: 2018-2023
Client: Beijing Planning and Natural Resource Bureau
Location: Beijing City Library, Lv Xin Road Courtyard No.1; Building No.3; Tongzhou District, Beijing
GFA: 75,000 sqm
Height: 22.3m
Status: Completed
Disciplines (by Snøhetta): Architecture, Interior Architecture
Typology: Library
Certification: Green Building Evaluation Label (GBEL)—“China Three Star”
Executive architect: ECADI
Structural, geotechnical, and civil engineer: ECADI
Cost Consultant: ECADI
Building sustainability engineer: ECADI
Façade & BMU engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan, Meinhardt
Lighting designer: ECADI
Main Contractor: China Railway Construction Engineering Group



审稿编辑: Maggie

更多 Read more about: Snøhetta