Tainan Public Library by Mecanoo

Tainan Public Library

Tainan is a city born from a history of diverse cultures, peoples and traditions.

Tainan Public Library
Plaza – Image © Mecanoo

The urban fabric holds memories from the 17th century European maritime trading, the Qing Dynasty Ruling, and the Japanese settlement of the early 1900s.

Tainan Public Library
Park – Image © Mecanoo

On top of its rich history, modern Tainan is developing as a central city in the knowledge-based economy. The new library is a built expression of the social, cultural and traditional facets that have amalgamated to form the city of Tainan.

Tainan Public Library
Entrance- Image © Mecanoo

Stepped facade
Mecanoo and MAYU’s design for the Tainan Public Library represents the meeting of cultures, generations and histories. Rational yet elegant structural lines and a sensitive use of light and shadow characterise the building’s timeless design. Reaching up into the sky, the building’s perimeter increases on each level.

Tainan Public Library
Lobby – Image © Mecanoo

The result is a large canopy that provides shade to the transparent stepped facade and below-grade courtyards. Around the perimeter of the Lower Ground Floor is an outdoor children’s play area. A floor-to-ceiling glazed wall creates a visual connection between the play area and indoor children’s reading room.

Tainan Public Library
Reading room – Image © Mecanoo

A sunken plaza on the same level is a multifunctional outdoor space for hosting talks, exhibitions or social gatherings. With a café adjacent, it is designed as a social destination for curious minds, creating a peaceful space for reading, group work, or socialising.

Tainan Public Library
Sunken patio – Image © Mecanoo

Adaptable to future needs
The entrance lobby rises three levels up to show the library’s internal configuration and the layering of floors. The generous open-plan spaces ensure the library can be adapted to future needs.

Tainan Public Library
Chidren patio – Image © Mecanoo

On the top floor, a delicate second skin is wrapped around the building, filtering the light and reducing solar heat gain. A pattern of typical Tainan window frames is transposed onto vertical louvres and represents the city’s evolving relationship with its past. Source by Mecanoo.

Tainan Public Library
Outdoor reading area – Image © Mecanoo
  • Location: Tainan, Taiwan
  • Architect: Mecanoo
  • Local partner: MAYU Architects
  • Structural engineer: Kaohsiung
  • Area: 37.000 m2
  • Year: 2017
  • Images: Courtesy of Mecanoo

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