Tree of knowledge: Xiangmi Park Science Library by MLA+
Client: People’s government of Futian District, Shenzhen
Location: 30 Nongyuan Rd, Futian Qu, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China, 518040
Xiangmi Park Science Library, built by MLA+ in the midst of the extensive public gardens of Shenzhen's Xiangmi Park, is embedded in the greenery by means of a high footbridge running towards it through the treetops. The steel structure and glass facades of the elegant temple-like building reflect the lightweight construction approach used for the library.
A public staircase integrated inside the library acts as a link between the footbridge and the raised ground floor, in this way opening the forest floor to the building and then continuing up through the interior to emerge at the uppermost floor, where a roof terrace provides panoramic views of the tree top canopies of Xiangmi Park. In addition to directly integrating the building components into the surroundings, thought was also put to similarly integrating the library visitors, namely by providing them the impression of climbing a tree – a tree of knowledge, as the architects put it – as they make their way up to the reading rooms.
Xiangmi Park was originally used for agricultural research. Despite rapid urban growth in the 1980s and establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, the park in the Futian district has been left largely untouched. The spacious green spaces are home to an orchard, several fish ponds, as a flower market and extensive avenues of trees – and now also Xiangmi Park Science Library