House with 30,000 Books

House with 30,000 Books is a residence for two families, which has a large library between those two dwelling parts. As the name indicates, the number of books the library can store is about 30,000, which almost equals to the number of books that one small public library can store.

The shared library space, sometimes works for connecting two families, sometimes for separating them as a buffer space, is the most spacious place of this house.

Upon designing a house for two families, ensuring independence of the two dwellings is always a key issue. In such a case, using shared space is a very effective way to draw two dwellings apart for keeping privacy of both families. Thus it was a natural consequence that we decided to insert the library between two dwellings. The unusual point is that the library’s layout was rotated 45 degrees from the main axis, to improve the views from windows of both ends of the library by making them face to less density orientations of the surroundings.

To further widen the views from the library, two parts of the building mass were cut away in triangle shapes like two wedges of cheese. As a result, two open spaces were made instead, that serve the library as sunken gardens. Because each of them also faces a dwelling part, they work as private open-air spaces for dwellings as well. Connected through these external spaces and the library, two dwellings have mild relation between each other while their independence is not violate.

The library is not just for storing books, but also for entertaining people. Wide views and natural sunlight with high ceilings make the library the most attractive space of the residence. Usually the windows are closed for blocking out UV light and humidity in order to protect books, they can be widely opened when needed, and thanks to the rotated layout and two open-air spaces, the library can create great transparency without compromising its ability for storage.

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On sunny days, the families can fully open windows for ventilation, and they may enjoy bright views with 30,000 Books together. This must be the greatest pleasure for book collectors, and this is the scene we have realized through this project.

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