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DGL - Daegu Gosan public library

"The wooden path leads the future users gently at the heart of the central vegetal atrium of the library"

Client / Client: Daegu Metropolitan City Suseong-gu Office
Location / Place: Daegu, South Korea
Area / Surface: 3200sqm / 3200m²
Year / Year: 2012
Cooperation / Collaboration: ---
Status / Status: Competition / Concours

Discovering a building is a bit like discovering a book. It is over the pages that you perceive the beauty of the work. The same applies to architecture; it is by experiencing the promenade that the whole building takes on its full meaning. The pleasure of all senses is developed by discovering the space. This relationship is primarily a notion of route, the goal is not much to finish it but more to enjoy it/discover it.  

The new Daegu Gosan public library claims the notion of route. It emphasizes on the spatial continuity of the adjacent urban park through a landscaped path along the park. It leads the future users gently at the heart of the central vegetal atrium of the library, which creates a small public square. This whole route is the “vegetal promenade”.

The city also leaves its mark on the library through an “urban mineral promenade”. It starts with the axis of the walkway facing the building which then enters the volume by a much more direct access taking visitors to the reading rooms of the second level, and to the more independent functions of the third level (such as the multipurpose room, cafeteria and classrooms). On the third level, the urban promenade takes the visitors to a mineral “terrace-foyer” which serves as an outdoor reception space before a conference, an exhibition or an important event in the multipurpose room.

The vegetal promenade and the urban mineral promenade are opposite by their materials, and by the creation of different paths and different approaches, but eventually meet each other in the heart of the library.

The Internal programming of the project is simple and intuitive. The more we go up, the more the spaces become independent and private. Users circulate mainly around the central vegetal atrium through a series of stairs.

On the first level, the double height main entrance is directly connected to the reception for loans and return books and also to a computer consulting. Behind is located a small audiovisual space and, independently, there is the first level of the library for children which has its own toilets and is linked with its upper floor through a private staircase.


The second level, accessible directly from the park by a mechanical stair and a lift, is mainly dedicated to general collections and reading areas. We find also the second level of the children's library with a nursery and its kitchen space easily accessible by an elevator nearby.

The third level, more independent, includes administration, classrooms, cafeteria / lounge area with the periodicals area and the multifunction room. This level is also directly accessible from the park by an outdoor mechanical stair and elevator.

In case of fire the two outdoor mechanicals stairs act as additional fire escapes facilitating the evacuation of the building.

In the different levels of the library, we can find three outdoor terraces which will each receive a specific orientation in order to enjoy views on the mountain landscape of the city. The terrace adjacent to the reading room of the second level is an additional outdoor reading area when the weather is nice. The terrace between the administration and the classrooms is a green sky garden, and the terrace in the corner of the multifunction room act as an outdoor exhibition area giving the feeling of a larger space. Each of these terraces is protected from sunlight by louvers covered with photovoltaic panels, which gives the building the opportunity to produce some of its energy.


The whole project is wrapped with a double glass skin giving unity to the library. The technical areas are covered with brushed aluminum panels. The main facade facing the park is fully covered with a mirror material reflecting the park and the surrounding environment. It makes the library disappear in favor of the main entrance leading to the central atrium. The interior facades along the vegetal promenade are covered with vegetal panels alternating with glass panels.
While the exterior skin glass of the building is open towards the city and invites people to culture, its vegetal interior skin is much more intimate and protective,  giving visitors the feeling of being in a green cocoon.

The architecture of the library does not conflict with the park, the neighborhood and the city. It completes and makes the character of the area stronger, making this equipment a new place for culture and socialization.

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