After winning international competition, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects will design the new Shanghai Library

The 110,000-sm library will be built in Pudong District and sit next to Century Park, Shanghai’s largest park.

January 09, 2017 |

Rendering courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Shanghai is the most populous city in the world with almost 25 million inhabitants and the library system of the city dates back to 1847, so the competition to determine the architecture firm that will build the new branch of the Shanghai Library located in one of the most iconic parts of the city saw its share of big names and heavy hitters.

David Chipperfield, Kengo Kuma, and Dominique Perrault were just a few of the architects who vied for the project, but after the six-month-long, two stage competition ended, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects won the opportunity to design the building.

The library, which will be located in Pudong District, is conceived as a monolithic object floating about the tree canopy within Century Park. The main library volume will float above two pavilions that will house a 1,200-seat performance venue, exhibition and events space, and a children’s library.

The architects for the project point to the library’s location within a park as one of the more interesting aspects of the project as it presents an opportunity to “create a sanctuary for knowledge and media in the trees.”


Rendering courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.


The library will feature three staggered reading rooms, arranged around a grand central atrium, that open up and connect to various parts of the library. The main library volume will be clad in a façade of clear, insulated, and fritted glass while the building will be carved and twisted to reflect the surrounding park and sky, according to the Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. In order to minimize solar glare, the glass panels will be arranged in angled, horizontal bands.

The windows will allow visitors to look out to the east and see panoramic views of Century Park while views to the south will be of the landscaped courtyards and gardens of the new library park. The north and west facing windows will provide views of the city.

The project is currently in the design process with a completion date in 2020.


Rendering courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.

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