The proposal for the new Library of Songdo International City is conceived as both, a new space of socialization for the citizens and as a temple to celebrate the exchange of knowledge.

Project Name: The Lightbrary
Studio Name: ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture

The Lightbrary by ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture - Sheet4
©ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture

Libraries are impressive cultural buildings, not for its architecture, but for all the social cohesion with the community. They should be thought as temples of culture and knowledge.

The main challenge of the project was to create a simple and pure building that reflected in some way the aspects of the Songdo community -technology- but also pay homage to the great tradition of Korea with the light. The building not only achieves to respect the city grid and landscape, it also create inside-outside relation. Compose of three elements, the central tower will host the main space of the library.

The Lightbrary by ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture - Sheet6
©ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture

The building, simple in its form and function, is the result of an urban analysis. It´s divided into three elements: two horizontal volumes located at both sides and one central tower that acts as the axis of the project. This vertical volume contain the circulation core that connects, to the right with the Children’s Material area, and to the left with the General materials area.

The library is mainly accessed through a three-story space that serves as a connector between the interior and exterior and seeks to represent the importance of a cultural building. The ground floor is composed of all open access areas: Shop, Club room, Learning space, Exhibition space, Lounge, Auditorium and Book Cafe.

The Lightbrary by ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture - Sheet8
©ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture

The project has two plazas, the entry plaza that connects the building with the Academy street, and the central plaza, that serve as a public space between the auditorium, the book cafe and the library. Also this space connect the Neighborhood Facility with the Incheon Yesong Kindergarten.

All open access space, where distribute on the ground floor to guarantee that visitor can use this space even if the library is close. The new public park serve as connector between the Library, the Buffer zone, the Neighbohood public facility and the Incheon Kindergarten. It’ll be the place to be for everyone to play, have fun and enjoy life.

By locating the building at the eastern side, a new public park is created between the kindergarten and the library. It integrate the buffer zone through pedestrian paths that cross throughout the entry and central plaza, and connect with the Incheon Yesong Kindergarten.

The Lightbrary by ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture - Sheet9
©ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture

On the first floor, the children’s area is located to the east side of the tower, where the view of the Golf Club and the Yellow sea prevails. To the left side, the Work & Management space is located trying to created a relation with the main lobby. The Preservation room is located facing north, where the solar incidence is very low. The second floor holds the Children’s material area, which connects with the one on the first floor through a two story space, this allows the space to be naturally daylit. This floor also has the first roof garden of the project, an outdoor reading area that have view to the new public park and the kindergarten. From the third floor, you enter the central tower that holds the General Material area. On this floor is also located a second roof garden that face the buffer zone and the University.

The facade of the building is made up of a steel grid structure, which supports operable fiberglass “brise soleil” panels, as if books were on a shelf. During the day, these pieces will serve as protection panels that will be able to open or close to control natural lighting and solar incidence, and at night they will light up, making the building a great urban lamp, the new lamp of Songdo.

The Lightbrary by ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture - Sheet10
©ISTURAÍN + SAM Architecture

The Lightbrary, the new library of Songdo International City, will not only be a space to enlighten the minds of all visitors, it will also be part of the cityscape becoming the new lamp for the city and its citizens, the lamp of Songdo.


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