The Suzhou No.2 Library, which will be open to the public within the year 2019, is located north of the historic city center of Suzhou. It will bring more than just a new library to the ancient and traditional cultural city of Suzhou. In the new library, which is embedded in the landscape of a newly built Park, there are also cultural facilities such as built-in feature libraries and exhibition spaces. The main feature of this library is the first large-scale intelligent storage with the capacity of 7 million books in China. gmp · von Gerkan, Margand Partners Architects won the design competition in 2014 and was commissioned. The design is accomplished together with the Southeast University Architectural Design Institute.
▼东立面夜景，east facade by night © Christian Gahl
苏州第二图书馆在传统图书借阅功能之外，还为苏州市带来了国内首座配备了最先进的地上智能书库的 图书馆，藏书量将达700万册。高36.8米的图书馆坐落于新建的书香公园景观中，还设有苏州文学馆、设计图 书馆、数字图书馆、音乐图书馆、儿童图书馆等特色馆中馆，以及研讨、展览空间等公共文化设施。
In addition to the traditional library functions, Suzhou No.2 Library has brought the first library in China with the most advanced intelligent storage system above ground, with a capacity of 7 million books. The 36.8-meter-high library is located in the newly-built Park landscape. It also has built-in feature libraries such as the Suzhou Literature Library, Design Library, Digital Library, Music Library, Children’s Library, aswell as seminars, exhibition spaces, etc. cultural facilities.
▼西侧视角，view from the west side © Christian Gahl
The building’s shape creates a clear resemblance to a skewed stack of papers and books, and the skewed architectural form and the façade of light aluminum louvers are layered up to give the library a unique silhouette. Whereas the ground level with its minimal surface is square and runs parallel to the street, the upper stories expand outward and are rotated as to provide views of the surrounding landscape and more reading spaces with better view.
▼横向立面线条，the unique silhouette © Christian Gahl
▼轻质遮阳铝百叶，the façade of light aluminum louvers © Christian Gahl
According to the different use requirements of the public space and the storage, the building is formed with two parts, which are connected to each other in the podium and the upper floors. The closed façade of the storage is designed with horizontally lined wood grained fair-face concrete that overlaps with the public area enclosed by the transparent glass façade.The intelligent storage with closed façade is located on the north, while the reading room with a transparent façade is located on the south, opened to the city view. The six floors above ground are all in height of 5.7 meters.
▼图书馆公共空间，public space of the library © Christian Gahl
▼门厅空间，lobby space ©Christian Gahl
▼儿童图书阅览室，reading room for children © Christian Gahl
▼设计图书馆阅览室，reading room of the design library ©严律己
The two building volumes is separated by a public square on the east-west axis of the building. The main entrance of the library is also located on both sides of the elevated square, which can be reached with the steps. Visitors can enter the both north and south parts of the library, the park is also connected by the square. By providing shortcuts in the site, visitors are guided into these two building parts, creating functional connections between the interior and exterior of the building, integrating the library and its diverse cultural activities into the urban structure.
▼通往公共广场方向，way to the public square © Christian Gahl
▼相互连接的两个建筑体量，the two building volumes are connected with each other © Christian Gahl
▼鸟瞰夜景，aerial view by night ©严律己
▼总平面图 ©gmp Architects
▼底层平面图 ©gmp Architects
▼南北向剖面 ©gmp Architects
▼东西向剖面 ©gmp Architects
Competition: 2014–1st Prize
Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Magdalene Weiss
Project leaders competition: Kong Buhong, Martin Friedrich
Team competition: Ren Peiying, Fabian Schlitt, Kan Lijing, Mustafa Obaid, Wang Yiqun, Zhang Bowei
Project leader construction: Yan Lyuji
Team construction: Bai Yunjie, Martin Friedrich, Kong Buhong, Li Chen, Qian Lie, Ren Peiying, Sun Yu, Xu Xufeng, Yao Yao, Shi Xiaohui
Project managent China: Pan Mei
Structural design: schlaich bergermann partner sbp GmbH
Facade consultant: SuP Ingenieure GmbH
Landscape design: WES GmbH Landschafts Architektur
Partner office China : Architects & Engineers, Co., Ltd. of Southeast University
Client: Suzhou Library
Gross floor area: 45,300 m²
Construction period: 2015-2019
Capacity: about 7,000,000 books