Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Gosan Public Library . Daegu

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios . authors: Alan Keane & Robert Grover

The project reflects the importance of the library as a place of learning and knowledge transfer but also a place of shared culture and personal interaction.

A Building for the City
As a centre of learning it responds to the need to contain information both digitally and physically and has the flexibility to adapt to changes in how knowledge is transferred in the future. The library also acts as a centre for the community, a place where the inhabitants of the city can meet, discuss and develop ideas.

A Symbol of Learning for Daegu
At the scale of the city, the library has a strong urban presence, acting as a symbol of learning and shared culture, offering a sense of quiet civility to Daegu. Like the Erechtheion in Athens, the building makes gestures to its context, with each elevation offering a different face responding uniquely to its context. It appears as a cluster of buildings, an ensemble which generates its own miniature urbanity. A colonnade marks the entrance to this ensemble allowing access to a secluded courtyard within the library, a cloistered space of shared learning.

An Urban Ensemble
The library is conceived as an ensemble of urban structures like a miniature city. Each structure is unique, with its own proportions scale and order responding both to the city of Daegu and the specific requirements of the brief.
Each block houses one of four essential elements of the library:
· Library Resources (containing information storage, retrieval and comprehension)
· The Children’s Library
· Public Learning Spaces (containing exhibition, lecture and lifelong learning)
· Library Support (containing staff and library administration)
This ensemble creates a series of incidental spaces; enclosed courtyards which contain the common spaces of the building.

A Place of Shared Learning
Surrounded by the four library structures, the central courtyard is a place of knowledge transfer and shared culture. Taking influence from both the classical forum and the monastic cloister, a sheltered & safe amenity space is created. A place for the community to meet & bond, share experiences & knowledge, and for children to play.
The main collection and reading spaces are housed in the largest block to the north east of the site. A dramatic triple height space containing both physical and digital resources gives way to a series of more intimate cellular spaces allowing for individual study.
To the south of the site is a sunken multipurpose room acting as a lecture theatre and exhibition hall, lit by clerestory windows at ground level. Above this sits the lifelong learning room.
The children’s library occupies a two storey element, creating a degree of separation between age groups. This independent block is connected to the main library but provides isolation from the more quiet areas.

The Library as a Green Place in the City
The Library has a green roof with carefully selected planting. Sustainable planting can filter out air- and water-borne pollution; provide an acoustic buffer to local traffic; help with rainwater attenuation; modify the temperature & humidity of the local microclimate; and protect & enhance insect biodiversity.

The Library’s Cultural Legacy
The library is constructed of thick brick walls, giving it mass and permanence. It has a sense of civic importance where the storage of information and the transfer of knowledge are considered sacred acts.
Brick is one of the oldest building materials. Its history spans that of civilisation. It is a simple concept: moulded clay becomes fired brick, a unit of comfortable weight and sensible proportions. On its own the brick is very simple, but in combination it can assemble to create great buildings from order and complexity.

The Library as a Beacon of Sustainable Construction
Brick is also a sustainable material. It has a high embodied energy, offset in a remarkably long lifespan, with very low maintenance. Brick may be salvaged and cleaned for reuse in a new building, or recycled into new bricks or aggregate.
Brick has the advantage of a high thermal mass. Its density and heat capacity make it particularly suited to the climate of Daegu, where its thermal inertia can absorb the sweltering summer heat and mitigate the coldness of winter. This is known as the “thermal flywheel effect”: the brick mass absorbs thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature, and releases when the surroundings are cooler.

Daegu Gosan Public Library
A Collection of Ideas
Alan Keane _ Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Robert Grover _ Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

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