HQ Architecture + [Preston Scott Cohen]

Datong, Sciansi, Cina: Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
01 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

Datong Library aims to resolve the tension between the two major roles of a central library: as a place of community promenade and gathering and as an archive of knowledge and quite place of study.

02 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

The form of the building embodies this tension, centering on a reflected pair of exceptional spaces.

03 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

At the heart of the spaces of public promenade is a garden courtyard, around which classrooms, a gallery, informal reading rooms, and an auditorium are arrayed.

04 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

The symmetrical pair of the courtyard, an expansive atrium, ties four floors of book stacks together.

05 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

The atrium is surrounded by a continuous, four-storey helical ramp lined with bookshelves and study carrels.

06 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

Besides perceptually tying the stack and reading areas together, the book ramp represents a typological advance in library design inspired by Asplund's Stockholm Library.

07 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

Cutting-edge parametric software originally intended for use in aircraft design was used from the project's inception, allowing the building form to retain its essential relational properties while allowing the precise shape to be changed rapidly and dramatically without requiring substantial redesign.

08 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

This proved to be invaluable throughout design development: not only was the masterplan changed - along with important site constraints - but the program underwent substantial revision through meetings with the projects stakeholders.

10 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
09 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
12 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
11 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
14 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
13 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
16 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen
15 Datong Library by Preston Scott Cohen

Location: Datong, China Architect: Preston Scott Cohen Project Team: Preston Scott Cohen, inc., Cambridge, Ma; Preston Scott Cohen (architectural design); Amit Nemlich (project architect), Matthew Allen, Carl D’apolito-Dworkin, Collin Gardner, Michelle Chang, Juan Jofre, Mary Stuckert, Janna Kauss (project assistants) Area: 20,000 m2 Project schedule: construction– 2011-2013 Client: Datong City Government

8.8/10 (232)