Sichuan Fine Art Institute Library


  • ClientSichuan Fine Art Institute
  • StatusCompleted / 2006-2008
  • CategoryCulture
  • CityChongqing
  • Area14,274m2

The library is located at the heart of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Huxi campus, situated between the academic sector and the living sector. To its east is the main avenue of the campus. The library accommodates 1,200 seats and approximately one million books. The building is a thin and elongated south-oriented rectangular mass, which allows for better natural light and ventilation. This characteristic of the design also creates a view of panorama landscape that resembles the traditional Chinese style horizontal scroll.

The library sits on a complex mountainous site, propagated by terraced paddy fields. The minimal and holistic form of the building distinguishes itself from the other existing scattered and small-scale buildings on the campus. The architectural form is derived from the vernacular architecture in the countryside. Therefore the simplistic volume maximizes the versatility of the space, also implying the spatial structure of the traditional housing of Sichuan region.

The building materials are selected for both tectonic and more importantly, historical reasons. Grey bricks are used for the exterior walls, as to reflect the vernacular architectural language. The interior walls and exposed structural members are constructed in concrete to resonate with, at the meanwhile also to distinguish from, the colour and texture of the exterior. Timber is used for both exterior and interior to enhance the resonance even more. Commonalities aside, the exterior materials tend to be dense, hard and solemn, and the interior is designed to be soft, intimate and light.

All the gable-side facades and the roof gardens comprise large areas of glass material to expose the interior activities to the outside spaces and to invite the outside views to the interior space.