The new Gosan library of the Suseong quarter offers the opportunity to bring a heart to the public space of the area. This is manifested in a precise geometric, inviting and sinuous composition that renders its new form an attraction and focus for the area. It invites people to enter into the library and share in the world of books and the art of the written word. The new building presents itself not only as a volume but as a global organisation of the voids existing within the urban fabric. The new building is envisaged as a park that develops through vegetation, the water elements and the world of culture, representing an intimate connection between nature and culture.
The organisation of the internal functions reflects an efficient evolution where the public and staff circulation routes are both distinct and kept to a minimum. The central plan typology recalls the great historical libraries and as such has not only an historical value but affords visitors immediate orientation inside the new structure.
The sequence of spaces and functions follows a clear principle of layers of intimacy- a very bright central collective space distributes the reading zones and more intimate spaces which have a more diffused light. The architecture, thanks to its location, size and characteristics of its various spaces. Acts as a filter and accompanies the user from the urban scale of the city to the intimate scale of the book.
The ground floor is a natural and fluid extension of the public garden spaces and acts as a sort of covered plaza where visitors find the general reception and information and where one finds the functions related to visitor exchange.
A double entry system allows the library to have independent opening hours. By simply closing the south entrance, the public functions on the basement level (lit by natural light from the gardens above), there spaces can be independent from the opening hours of the library. For the staff there is a vertical circulation system that allows for a efficient work flow and means that the staff can reach the public amenities on each floor with the minimum of path. Car parking has been incorporated into the new volume thereby freeing the grounds of cars and emphasising the idea of the park. At the same time this offer covered access for deliveries and acts as the staff entrance.
The first floor is conceived of as an elevated public plaza and through its generous openings, offers an immediate link to the external spaces- The top floor comprises an events terrace and office. The large central void, characterised by a large skylight connects all the public spaces and offers visitors an at-a-glance view of all what the library has to offer.
The supporting structure of the building is confined to the outer load bearing walls. The absence of columns within the spaces guarantees a great layout flexibility which will carry the library into the future. The search for simplicity in construction is inspired by the inherent values of Korean culture- sensitivity and tenacity in obtaining results. The sinuosity of form interprets the contemporary Korean constructive and visual culture of representation as seen in the determined and elegant work emerging from young Korean artists.
The materials, from the structural concrete to detailed finish follows this intuition to be both heavy and light concurrently. The great curved surfaces, clad in a dark prepatinated zinc metal mesh, appears to dematerialise at points, offering an unexpected transparency across the interstitial spaces, creating microclimate based on particular filtration of natural light. Those curved elements are designed to emphasise the notion of continuity between inside and outside.