Why just showcase a grand collection of books when you could use the opportunity to create a new wooden wonder, too? A new library in Hangzhou, China encourages you to “wander in a forest of books,” with thrilling floor-to-ultra-high-ceiling shelves packed full and stretching up to 33 feet into the air.
The timber-based design features staircases and platforms that stagger throughout the interiors to create little pockets for reading, writing and studying while drinking coffee from the library’s cafe. We’re honestly not sure how you can find specific books on the higher shelves – is there a giant ladder hiding somewhere? But maybe it doesn’t matter, because the space is just so cool.
Design firm Beijing Fenghemuchen Space Design say they wanted to draw a line between the paper of the books, the wood of the building and a feeling of connection with nature.
“Made from plant fibers, paper books have a natural and earthy touch, imparting an indescribably intimate and warm feeling when we read them. Paper-book reading has long been an experience that solaces our minds and nourishes our souls. The unique authenticity, vividness and earthiness in this traditional media often inspire us to rethink our lives. Such inspiration and experience can never be replaced by digital online. The overabundance of electronic products makes offline reading much more valuable, calling for protection of our vulnerable ecosystem of humanity in the same way as we cherish nature.”
“In designing the whole space, Yi Chen and Muchen Zhang purposefully creates a strong ecological ambience of organic interdependence, responding to the prevailing desire for breathing in nature, reunion with nature, and echoing with nature, so that the whole natural ecological ambience can return as the backdrop of our lives. Natural wood is largely used in the space. The designers try to keep the use of materials and design language to a minimal degree, so that the innate property of wood can be highlighted in a simple and unpretentious manner, and that the space modestly exudes a state of inner life.”
What do you think – did they achieve their goal?