Dalian Library Design Submission

Dalian, China

The city of Dalian is actively reshaping the fabric of the city through a series of new public buildings. The Dalian Public Library project was the successful result of an invited international competition, with architects such as Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, and Michael Hopkins being shortlisted.

The library won an AIA Merit Award with jurors' comments as follows: "The jurors found this design engaging and dynamic. The central vortex was described as creating a focal area for an interesting series of spaces for the community. The building section illustrated for the jurors, the attention for both an urban and internal connectivity. The various adjoining spaces spiral inward in celebrating how the library can become a community center for the neighborhood."

Dalian Planning Bureau
Cultural & Civic
Site Area:
Architecture, Sustainablity, CGI
Design Completion 2011
The library was inspired by the idea of a tree growing out of the ground, with roots spreading out providing a place to rest and think. The building form floats and drops symbolic roots that spiral down into the ground around a sunken inner courtyard. The meeting point of the ground plane and the roots cause undulations and ripples across the site. The floating main library volume twists to maximise views of both the ocean to the south and a mountain to the north. As the form of the building undulates, it creates a variety of spaces for both large gatherings and more intimate personal areas for study and research. A veil of perforated brass wraps around the library to diffuse the daylight entering the spaces and to mimic the soft light found under a large tree canopy.
A green hill over the media centre forms an outdoor gathering space and amphitheatre and offers views to the southern sea. A roof top café on the tower volume also provides panoramic views. The tower volume has a series of internal voids and terraced spaces to further enhance the variety of spatial conditions and to provide internal connectivity. A series of retail functions including cafés will help draw a larger audience to the library.

winning awards

AIA Hong Kong Honors & Awards 2011 - Merit Award for Unbuilt Project


Design Partner - Ted Givens

Architectural Team

Mohamad Ghamlouch, Emre Icdem, Judy Chan, Abraham Fung



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