‘water drop’ library by 3andwich design in Huizhou City, china
Atop a lush hill in Huizhou City, China, 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio built a white circular library with expansive views of the sea. Dubbed ‘Water Drop Library’, the project adopts a bold geometric character, presenting itself as a striking round volume with a long straight corridor welcoming visitors in. Transparent glass surfaces provide guests with a sense of suspension, while dramatic interiors with lighting contrasts add to the poetic character of the building. The roof presents a bowl-shaped roof inside which a pool makes the structure feel like an underwater library.
all images by Jin Weiqi
a tortuous path to the mountain of books
The starting point of the 3andwich’s design was the site. The structure is embedded in the hill, blending in with the surrounding landscape and acting as a link between humans and the environment. The architecture presents a poetic narrative while the geometry depicts abstraction as an artifact. Because the structure is built on a hill, the design forms a tortuous path also called the ‘path to the mountain of books’. ‘Readers need to step up and understand the pain of learning,’ the architects explain.
The volumetry attempts to create poetic tension: from above, the geometric appears to be a dynamic combination of a circle and a straight line. The main structure of the building has a circular plane, and the straight line is the outdoor corridor and long wall that leads people from the top of the hill into the building. The entire library is white, with the edges of the corridor, long wall, and roof emphasizing the geometric composition which attracts the attention of users and leads them to the direction of the roof pool and the sea.
diving into a journey of self-discovery
According to 3andwich Design, entering the building is a journey to re-discover nature and oneself. To access the library, visitors proceed down the corridor and ‘dive in’ to the main space located directly beneath the pool. As a result, guests have the impression that they are inside an underwater structure.
The interior features a number of dramatic rooms with light and dark contrasts, as well as an intriguing spatial play between open and closed spaces. The first scene upon entering the building is the porch at the end of the outdoor corridor, which presents itself as a relatively narrow transition space with a meditative character. Guests enter the circular space in the middle of the building by turning left from the porch. This room accommodates the reading area, while it can also house small exhibitions. The extended glass openings offer striking views of the sea and the surrounding natural environment.
tranquil reading room overlooks the natural scenery
The indoor reading area is primarily composed of white, light gray, and other bright tones, while the curved shape is used to enhance the tranquil atmosphere. Along the outer glass curtain wall, there are seats and small tables where guests can read quietly while taking in the scenery. The bookshelves are arranged in a ring along the inner wall and extend outward to form a cloud-like shape in the ceiling and lower areas. This extended serves as a stepped seating area, where one can lean and read in a more relaxed manner.