2013-08-27 15:17 ChineseTime

Rows of firewood are the first impression of Liyuan Library, which sits beside a pond surrounded by mountains in the Huairou district of Beijing. On a day when the tranquility is broken only by birdsong, it is "a setting for clear thoughts" as the building's designer describes it.

Designed by Chinese architect Li Xiao-dong, the library was one of the winning designs in the 2013 Architecture of Necessity competition held in Sweden in June, making it the first Chinese project to claim the honor.

The building is fully glazed to allow the largest amount of daylight to enter, as the library has no power supply, which means there is no heating or air conditioning.

To solve the problem, Li placed the entrance of the library on a lower level above the pond so that in summer the cool air above the water is sucked into the house.

Windows are placed at the levels where people sit to let the breeze pass through.

The roof of the building is also covered with the firewood, but the wood is sandwiched between two layers of glass so that heat will be trapped inside to warm the building during winter.

Inside the building there is no traditional furniture, as the steps between levels also act as seats and shelves.

If you go

9.30 am-4 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, May to October

Jiaojiehe village, Huairou district,Beijing

The library is free to the public


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