The library designed by Dong Gong of Vector Architects is located in the Bay of Bohai, a popular holiday destination about three hours’ drive from Beijing: a place where quality of life is closer to the rhythms of nature than to the frantic pace of the city. In this context the architects decided to use design as a way of exploring the existing relationships between the physical boundaries of built space, the motion of the human body, the ocean view, light and natural ventilation.
The section becomes an essential key in architectural design, for controlling the relationship with natural surroundings, the views of the ocean and the right amount of light and air, different in every space in the library (rooms for reading, meditation and various activities) and in the annexed service areas (coffee shop, rest area).
The project was named Overall Winner, the top honour in the 2016 ArchMarathon Awards. The panel of judges, chaired by Luca Molinari and composed of Lucy Bullivant, William Menking, Wassim Naghi, Li Brian Zhang and Elie Haddad, saw the Seashore Library as a poetic balance between architecture and nature, a refuge from the complexity of city life, constructed on a human scale.
Design: Vector Architects
Location: Beidaihe New District, China
Images courtesy of ArchMarathon, copyright: Vector Architects, photo by Su Shengliang, Xia Zhi, He Bin, Hal Chen