Macau Central Library, China by Mecanoo

the façade pattern acting as an extension of the bookshelves

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Mecanoo for providing the following description:

新中央图书馆紧邻塔石广场,位于被指认为世界遗产的澳门旧城区。基地现址为旧爱都酒店,由出生于澳门的葡裔建筑师Alfredo Victor Jorge Álvares 设计,作为澳门第一个赌场酒店于1962年开幕,后于1990年代停止营业。图书馆建筑长期面临着的各式变迁与挑战。作为座位于历史纹理中的现代建筑,新中央图书馆将成为一具有前瞻的平台,为其周围环境带来影响。相邻的广场将是图书馆不可分割的一部分,一处充满活力的公共场域,引领着游客使用新中央图书馆所提供的一切设施。

▼视频,the video ©Mecanoo

The new Macau Central Library will be located by the Tap Seac square in the historical center of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated on the site of the former Hotel Estoril (designed by the Macau- born Portuguese architect, Alfredo Victor Jorge Álvares), which was the first casino resort in Macau opened in 1962 and has been vacant since the 1990s. Libraries are dynamic and continually changing. While clearly a contemporary structure within a traditional context, the new Central Library will provide a forward-thinking platform for influencing its surroundings. The adjacent square will become an integral part of the library, creating an activated public realm, which will encourage visitors to use all the public amenities that new library can offer.

▼图书馆立面,the facade ©Mecanoo


The facade takes inspiration from the former modernist design of Hotel Estoril by filtering the light and creating a controlled indoor climate. An intriguing play of light and shadow is projected onto the floor and walls of the library. The continuous ‘L’ shape that defines the library volume and its uniform facade helps to redefine the square. The façade pattern acts as an extension of the bookshelves, from the inside out, from stack to protective shell. The uniform skin wraps the library volume and opens up like a book page to the main entrance facing the Tap Seac square. This welcoming gesture is an essential part of the relationship between library and square.

▼立面细节,details of the facade ©Mecanoo


Rather than imagining the new Central Library simply as a cultural destination in Macau, Mecanoo’s design proposal is built around the idea of creating a journey – one that commences at city level via the Tap Seac Square and continues through a series of interconnected spaces, leading visitors all the way to the large reading rooms situated at the top level of the building.  The futurist mural designed by the Italian sculptor Oseo Acconci depicting Fortuna, the Roman goddess of chance, is preserved and integrated it in the new lobby welcoming the visitors. Within the library, a soaring atrium opens to the uppermost levels of the building, allowing visitors to orient themselves immediately to the activities within and inspiring them to move upwards through the library. As visitors move upwards via the spacious tribunes, the building offers unique views out to the mountain and the Tap Seac Square.

▼室内环境,the interior views ©Mecanoo


The current central library is also located by the same square and will continue serving as a more of an archival library after the new building has been taken into use. The key to the future success of the library lies in being inclusive, open and accessible. A place where everyone feels they belong.

▼夜景,night view ©Mecanoo

设计团队: 麦肯诺建筑师事务所
规模: 15.000m2
设计阶段: 2020-2021
预期完工: 2025
地址: Av. de Sidónio Pais, Macau 
业主: 澳门特别行政区政府文化局
机能: 15000m2 图书馆,包含儿童、青少年及一般书区,展览与多用途空间,咖啡厅及办公室

Design Team: Mecanoo
Size: 15.000m2
Project Design: 2020-2021
Project Realisation: 2025
Address: Av. de Sidónio Pais, Macau
Client: Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government
Programme: 15000m2 library with children’s, teenagers and general collection, exhibition spaces and multifunctional rooms, café and offices.

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