In designing the library, my purpose was to make people aware that they live between mountains and water, which is the garden style of Suzhou. Backed by a mountain full of bamboo in the north and facing a lake that used to be a disposed brickfield in the south, the slope site descends southward with a difference of four meter in the level.
According to the principles of gardening, buildings between mountain and water should not be prominent. So nearly half of the library is underground. The three-storey building actually shows only two-storey to the entrance-side. The rectangle main body is floating over the water, facing south, the dominant direction of the winds in summer. From north to south, and also from mountain to water, four separate pavilions are inserted into the complex. It is the soul of the traditional Chinese garden to change scale from one to another. For a literati, the small houses are much more important. The pavilion-like building in the water, - the poetry and philosophy reading room of the library -, is from the Chinese literati point of view, in a position where man and nature are balanced.
Architects: WANG Shu, LU Wenyu, TONG Ming
Company of Scheme Design: “Amateur” Architecture Studio
Cooperation Design Institute: Architecture and Planning Institute Suzhou Construction Group
Construction Period: 3/1999 – 9/2000
Location: Yuexi Wuxian, Suzhou
Site Area: About 4.000 m2
Total Floor Area: About 9.000 m2
Structure Type: Reinforced Concrete Framework