Choose your favorite building: Amazing Libraries

Choose your favorite building: Amazing Libraries

This week’s theme (on 11th of August 2021) is Amazing Libraries. In the competition, three different from China, Austria, and Luxembourg.

1. The Cloudscape of Haikou

the cloudscape of Haikou building
Source photo: Arch-Exist

The Cloudscape of Haikou is a library located between land and sea in Century Park along the Haikou Bay coastline in China.

The description provided by the Architects

The Cloudscape of Haikou is the first of sixteen coastal pavilions commissioned by the Haikou Tourism and Culture Investment Holding Group to rejuvenate the historic port city, with the aim of improving public space along the coastline. Known as “Haikou, Pavilions by the Seaside,” the initiative invited teams of internationally recognized architects, artists, and interdisciplinary professionals to create sixteen landmark public stations.

The project started in 2019 and was completed in 2021, designed by MAD Architects and led by Ma Yansong.

The library is made of flowing form and informed by a cast of white concrete walls. The building was built by using cast in concrete, implemented by both a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) and 3D printed formwork, to ensure accuracy and create seamlessness across the curved surfaces.

The sculptural concrete form was named as one of the “most anticipated projects of 2021” by The Times of London.

“Spirituality is the core value of architecture. It contributes to the humanistic atmosphere of a city. We want this building to be an urban space that people would like to make part of their daily lives. Architecture, art, humanity, and nature meet here, opening up a journey of visitors’ imaginations to explore and appreciate the meaning that different beauties bring to their lives.”

Ma Yansong

Information source:
– MAD Architects project page:
– WA:

2. Public Library Dornbirn

public library Dornbirn building
Source photo: Aldo Amoretti

The Public Library Dornbirn, as it’s been named, is located in Dornbirn, Austria. The construction started in 2018 and was completed in 2019.

The project is the result of an international architectural contest between 18 architects in 2015, results revealed the beginning of 2016. Among the 18 different projects presented, it is the Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten who stood out with a spectacular aspect: represent the library – the kingdom of reading par excellence – by a surface made up of “books” encompassing and delimiting the space.

The Description provided by the Architects

The library of the town of Dornbirn was designed as an inter-generational sharing, meeting, and learning space. It promotes reading and the practice of languages, the exploration of computerized research methods, and new forms of communication.

The joint project of the architectural offices Dietrich | Untertrifaller and Christian Schmoelz succeeded against 18 competitors and won the international architectural competition in early 2016. “The new library is a milestone for Dornbirn’s culture and education,” says Mayor Andrea Kaufmann happily.

Urban Context

The ovoid-shaped pavilion was established autonomously and seems to have been placed in the park from above. It stands out expressively among the rectangular shapes of the surrounding buildings. The external path crosses the building, which then becomes a public space.

For its impressive architecture, the architects received Hypo Client’s Award 2020 and Archello’s Best Projects 2020 recognition.

Information source:
– Dietrich Untertrifaller project page:

3. National Library of Luxembourg

national library Luxembourg building
Source photo: By GilPe – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The National Library of Luxembourg, known in French as Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg and abbreviated as BnL is located in the Kirchberg district of Luxembourg City. 

The BnL is the largest scientific library in Luxembourg. It is in 2003 that an international architectural contest in launched to design the new public library of Luxembourg, won by Bolles + Wilson and WW+ architektur + management. The construction started in 2013 and was completed in 2019

The description provided by the Architects:

The task of the Patrimonial and Universal Library is the housing and protection of Cultural and Intellectual Texts – a foundation stone of the intellectual community. For the BnL a compact, energy-efficient building volume houses a wide range of functional entities. A transparent imposing, but at the same time inviting, facade fronts onto the Avenue John F. Kennedy. Internal functions unfold sequentially from this entrance gesture; Foyer +, Café (with upper-level Conference + seminar rooms), next to the Reading Room – a landscape of terraced workstations and bookshelves.

Information source:


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