LiYuan Library – Huairou Building, Beijing

LiYuan Library Beijing, Huairou Architecture, Jiaojiehe village, China, Architect, Design

LiYuan Library, Beijing : Huairou Building

Chinese Building – design by Li Xiadong/Atelier

3 Oct 2012

WAF Awards 2012 category winner – Culture

20 Jul 2012

LiYuan Library Building

Building in Jiaojiehe village

Design: Li Xiadong/Atelier

This project is modest addition to the small village of Huairou on the outskirts of Beijing, just under a two hours drive from busy Beijing urban life.

On the one hand it forms a modern programmatic complement to the village by adding a small library and reading space within a setting of quiet contemplation. On the other hand we wanted to use architecture to enhance the appreciation of the natural landscaping qualities.

LiYuan Library Building Jiaojiehe village Huairou County LiYuan Library Building Jiaojiehe village Huairou County LiYuan Library Building Jiaojiehe village Huairou County
photographs from architects

So instead of adding a new building inside the village center, we chose this particular site in the nearby mountains, a pleasant five minute walk from the village center. In doing so we could provide a setting of clear thoughts when one consciously takes the effort to head for the reading room.

Because of the overwhelming beauty of the surrounding nature our intervention is modest in its outward expression. We can’t compete with nature’s splendor. The building blends into the landscape through the delicate choice of materials and the careful placement of the building volume. Especially the choice of material is crucial in blending with the regional characteristics. After analyzing the local material characteristics in the village we found large amounts of locally sourced wooden sticks piled around each house. The villagers gather these sticks all year round to fuel their cooking stoves. Thus we decided to use this ordinary material in an extraordinary way, cladding the building in familiar textures in a way that is strikingly sensitive.

The inside of the building has a very expressive character though; its interior is spatially diverse by using steps and small level changes to create distinct places. It frames views towards the surrounding landscape and acts as an embracing shelter. The building is fully glazed to allow for a fully daylight space. The wooden sticks temper the bright light and spread it evenly throughout the space to provide for a perfect reading ambience.

LiYuan Library Building Jiaojiehe village Huairou County LiYuan Library Building Jiaojiehe village Huairou County LiYuan Library Building Jiaojiehe village Huairou County
photographs from architects

LiYuan Library – Building Information

Architect: Li Xiadong/Atelier
Team: Li Xiadong, Liu Yayun, Hunag Chenwen, Pan Xi
Location: Jiaojiehe village, Huairou County, Beijing, China
Floor area: 175 sqm
Client: Jiaojiehe village
Construction Period: Mar 2011 – Oct 2011
Construction cost: RMB 1050,000
Commissionoing Donors: Luke Him Sau Charitable Trust And Pan Xi

Library Building in Huairou County images / information from Li Xiadong/Atelier Architects


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