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Friday, June 12, 2009

Fukuyama City Central Library, Fukuyama, Japan

New library for Fukuyama City
This is a complex building completed in March 2008, of which a major function is a municipal library with a housing capacity of about 650,000 books. Other facilities included are Historical Material Library, meeting rooms, child-rearing support centre and a satellite studio for the University of the Air. The building has large, view windows so that visitors can enjoy view of the central park located in front of the building.

To enhance this setting, the building is bordered with a wide water surface, which blurs the boundary between the building and the park, and enhances the close relation between the two. The depth of the deep eaves was carefully determined by making sun-shadow simulation so that there is almost no need to use blinds during opening time throughout the year.

The reading room lays at two floor levels, each about 40m x 40m in size. In order to introduce natural light into inner area of the rooms, a skylight is located at the center and a cascade at the west side. With these, visitors can feel the natural light and outside atmosphere at any point within the building. In other words, visitors can feel as if they are strolling through a park when they walk around to find books.

Interior and exterior brick walls take on many different guises, depending on the light, to show the passage of time. As for the Meeting Room Zone at the 4th floor level, “openness” was pursued in the design. All the rooms facing the light court are fully glazed at the light court side so that all the rooms are visually combined and that occupants in a room feel activities in other rooms.

Furthermore, a corridor runs along the perimeter at this level and so all the visitors can enjoy the view of the cityscape from the corridor. The common entrance lobby also functions as a place for various events such as exhibitions of pictures by schoolchildren of the city, and exhibitions of artworks by local artists. Besides the intended functions, this complex building begins to bring about a variety of activities of the citizens

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