▼视频，video ©朱润资 / 空间里
Qianshao Village is located in the northern part of Chongming Island. It has been 41 years since the reclamation began in 1968. Qianshao Bay Art Tribe is launched with a intention to develop a new cultural and economic industry in Chongming Island through the form of ‘art tourism’. The library used to be a run-down bungalow that served as the primary school in this village. We were commissioned by the local government to build a new library and cafe on the site of the demolished school, which will also become a supporting facility for the Art Tribe.
▼雾中的树林图书室，library in the mist ©朱润资
After our first visit to the site in May 2020, we were attracted by the large nursery forest in Qianshao Bay. When meandering throug it, you can feel the closeness with nature that is rarely seen in city life.
‘How to visualize abstraction with concrete design?’
‘How to make people feel the natural mood through architectural atmosphere?’
The design attempts to interpret the natural scene of the forest into an architectural atmosphere, showing the harmonious coexistence of the nature and architecture in the interpretation between real and surreal, figurative and abstract.
▼校舍原状，the existing building ©空间里
left: the nursery forest; right: British painter Margaret Gillies©空间里
▼设计概念，design concept ©空间里
On the way back to our studio, we came across a truck full of wood piles, which are usually used as the material for the river engineering and inspired my imagination of the ‘artificial forest’. In this design, we use cedar piles to form a ‘forest’, which eliminates the stereotype about the geometry of a house, weakens the external boundary of the building, and creates the surrounding environment as hazy, illusory and mysterious as the forest. The ‘forest’ uses a total of 300 wood piles, with two specifications of diameter:150mm and 200mm, and the height of the exposion above ground has five different lengths: 2.5m, 3m, 3.5m, 5m, 6m. The subtle layout is based on the simple visual priciple to create a larger and deeper visual effect. The ‘forest’ and ‘library deep in the forest’ form a strong spatial experience in depth on a narrow site. People can feel the extension and enlargement of space from the scene without depth under the effect of unique means of space reproduction and life experience.
▼沿街立面，street view ©朱润资
▼雾中的图书室入口，the library entrance in the mist ©朱润资
Walking through the ‘woods’, there is a passage that connects the library to the riverside courtyard. In the reflection of the mirror wall, the visual boundary of space seems to disappear. The reflection of people, trees and riverside scenery forms a transition space from non-reality to reality
▼雾中的过廊，the corridor in the mist ©朱润资
▼室内空间，interior view ©朱润资
▼北面的大落地窗，the north-facing glazed wall ©朱润资
▼北面窗外的河岸景色，view to the river band on the north side ©朱润资
The rectangular space is simple in geometry without too much separation designed inside, in order to adapt to different functional needs of future operation. Indoor furniture such as tables and stools are made of log, with large French Windows on side, the natural surrenderings of the site are accommodated into the architectre.
▼南面的落地窗，the south-facing glazed wall ©朱润资
▼南面窗外的“柱林”，view to the pile forest on the south side ©朱润资
View on the side facing the road is blocked by the pile forest, which also isolates the interference, making the interior space much more quiet. The ‘forest’ casts a shadow into the building, shading the strong midday daylight and also giving the interior a sense of deep forest.
▼河对岸的树林图书室，Underwood Library across from the river ©朱润资
▼雾中的北面窗景，north-facing window ©朱润资
▼雾中的树林图书室，Underwood Library in the mist ©朱润资
Project Name: Underwood Library
Type: Architecture, Interior, Landscape
Location: Qianshao Village, Chongming District, Shanghai
Design Principal: Wang Shaorong
Project Leader/ Project Architect: Zhu Jialei, Wang Shaorong
Design Team: Wang Yin, Zhang Xinyi (Intern)
Client: Shanghai Chongming District Culture and Tourism Bureau
Cost: 1million RMB
Design Stage: 2020.June-August
Construction Stage: February 2021
Building Area: 178spm
Main Material: Cedar Pile, Cedar Plank, Red Bricks
Photography: Zhu Runzi