The undeniable shift in the way people access information, most notably from physical books to the digital world, has vastly influenced what libraries look like these days. Instead of being furnished with bookstacks and reading rooms, contemporary libraries are designed to serve as an information exchange platform where the public can access quality information via cultural activities and interpersonal interactions, with less emphasis on the number of books they carry.

It would, however, be premature to assume that this would be the final stage in the evolution of libraries. With the ever changing form of data consumption, the new library shall be designed in such a way that it serves the core functions of a library but also be resilient and adaptable to the way information is exchanged in the future, which we’re unable to predict. How can architecture be adaptable to unknown future conditions? “Bibliopile” is our take on this riddle.

The proposal employs a core spatial element “vault”, a condensed data storage area in the center occupied by bookstacks at the time of proposal, which interconnects the surrounding programs. Over time the vault can be modified per the new data storage method, or even be dismantled if not required, as it is designed as a standalone prefabricated structure. This structural flexibility will ensure that the new library is adaptable to the future programmatic needs.

Overall massing resembles a “pile” of solid and transparent boxes around the vault. The building gets abundant daylight through the transparent volumes and multiple outdoor terraces are created above the solid volumes. The pile not having any directionality, visitors can access the vault from any direction and on any level.

—The Bibliopile

2021, Proposal

Cultural

Songdo, Korea

86,000 sf / 8,000 sqm

In Collaboration with Simplex Architecture

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