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Seashore Library – a building of new literary and architectural perspectives



Since time immemorial, libraries have been a hub of inspiration and knowledge for civilisations around the world. This service to humankind is reflected in the architecture of the Seashore Library by Vector Architects, the firm that was also responsible for the Seashore Chapel. In spite of their design similarities, the brief for the Seashore Library differed from that of its religious counterpart; lifestyle factors were a key aspect of the design. Alongside reading and meditation areas, the vast halls of the Seashore Library include space for hosting events. But that’s not all that is special about this building.  



Contemporary architecture: More than meets the eye

If you gaze toward the white and grey building from a distance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the building is nothing more than an austere block of granite placed on the sand. But as you approach the Seashore Library, the true nature of the building unfolds: The raw concrete creates a feeling of solidity, protection and peace, while the vast panoramic window gives visitors breathtaking views of the ocean.   


Quelle: Vector Architects



Knowledge, peace & communication – all under one roof

Most of the 450-square-metre construction is dedicated to the main purpose of the building: Literature. The library is also home to the panoramic window mentioned previously, where visitors can take a seat on one of the wooden benches and enjoy uninterrupted views of Bohai Bay. If the folding glass doors facing the beach are open, the scent of the sea penetrates the building, creating a virtually unique and unforgettable way to experience the natural compositions of the tides and the coastal light. Visitors looking for a more secluded space within the library can find peace and solitude in the meditation room.


It has two 30-centimetre openings in the walls – one to the east and one to the west – to create a fascinating and ever-changing display of diffused light. The indirect light and the sounds of the sea create an intensely peaceful atmosphere in the meditation room. The library’s event space is also indirectly lit. A patio separates the area from the quiet zones, and provides access – via a narrow staircase – to the roof of the building for yet another perspective on the ocean.


Extraordinary architecture, modern design and fascinating light effects



Vector Architects and light

Light plays a key role in all of the buildings conceived by Beijing-based Vector Architects. In the Seashore Library’s sister project, the Seashore Chapel, cleverly positioned apertures keep the lighting in the chapel low and atmospheric.


In the Seashore Library, the architects devised a number of lighting scenarios. But both projects have one thing in common: The mood in each building is influenced by the position of the sun. This video shows how the architects worked in harmony with nature to create the unique experience of the Seashore Library:


Quelle: DETAIL online / Vimeo 

How do you feel about this unusual location for a library? Would you visit this unique building? Tell us what you think in the comments!

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