Low-cost timber library wins World Interior of the Year
Alongside the World Architecture Festival (WAF), the three-day World Festival of Interiors has also taken place in Lisbon, Portugal. The event crowned the Pingtan Children Library, by Condition_Lab, as winner of the World Interior of the Year for its low-cost wooden design that creates an attractive and light-filled space for children to read, learn and play.
The Pingtan Children Library is located in Hunan, China, within the grounds of a primary school that serves around 400 children. The building is raised slightly to protect against flooding and its overall style is influenced by traditional Chinese houses. It has a tiled pitch roof and a structure made up of interlocking wooden beams.
Its interior, meanwhile, measures roughly 80 sq m (861 sq ft), spread over three floors, and is defined by its use of wood, including two interwoven staircases that form a double helix and serve as seating areas. There are multiple nooks and reading spaces installed throughout, while polycarbonate windows frame choice views of the local landscape and allow daylight to permeate pleasantly within.
"The value of this project lies in two fundamental lessons," said the WAF. "The first relates directly to the children of Pingtan who beyond enjoying playing in the library have realized their culture is alive and remains relevant in this fastly changing world. The second relates to the discipline, at a moment when architecture especially in an urban metropolis like Hong Kong seems to have lost its soul to ever-demanding developers, making one aware of the social importance of architecture. Social impact does not require large amounts of financial investment, design is not limited to high-end projects, and architecture must have a purpose."
Condition_Lab sought donors to sponsor the project and it was eventually constructed to a relatively low budget of HKD600,000 (roughly US$77,000).