Daegu Gosan Public Library
Architect: Rojo/Fernández-Shaw
Status: Competition (2012)
Visualizer: Studio
Scale: 2.080 ㎡ Medium
Types: Education, Library

The basic design principles guiding the project are:

– the integration of the new architecture in its social and physical context, whose environmental and urban qualities should be valued, boosting the civic and public qualities promoted by the activity of the Library.
– the enhancement of free access to content and information through an open space planning, flexible and versatile.
– the search for architectural and volumetric configurations that promote energy sustainability by means of both active and passive strategies.
– the reinforcement of a public image for the library, fostering a sense of proximity and familiarity and social sustainability.

The present proposal works in favor of the qualities of continuity and transparency at the disciplinary level, as well as spatially and materially, and it does so both inside the library and outside, in the relationship with its environment.

On the outside, the construction is offered light and transparent, slightly raised above the ground, like a pavilion. The glass envelope, curved and continuous –wrapping literally the interior spaces-, constructed with a regular and harmonic plot of right stud frames of laminated wood, integrates with the public park that runs in front.

To the inside,  the surrounding façade provides consistency and unity to the arrengement of different functional areas, sorted by a circular geometry, tangent cluster around the geometric and functional center of the library (housing the vertical core, toilets and countertops for public attention)

The planimetric geometry and the secctional strategy seek balance between continuity and fragmentation through the manipulation of the geometry of tangent circles. On the first floor, the circles are configured as volumes, providing silent and quiet study areas and reading rooms however without loosing the visual conection to the whole. On the Ground floor, the circular geometry soars over the space without breaking the spatial continuity, thus favouring the areas of consultation, newspaper library and informal, youth and children’s reading areas.

On the Ground floor, the transparency and continuity are more literal, reinforcing the accessibility and proximity to the citizens; on the First floor, however, the transparency and continuity are suggested (visual conections), so encouraging the study and the reading.

As a consequence of the structural and planimetric strategy, an open and continuous space is produced, in which the use of each area or pocket is not determined by walls or enclosures –not existing- but the ambient fitting-out system that is suitable for each use, the kind of furniture placed in each area, the specific quality of lighting or the proximity to the façade envelope. All these instruments allow for a kind of free plan that is neither homogeneous, undifferentiated nor repetitive. On the contrary, these design and technical instruments allow for high functional specificity and spatial hierarchy within the continuous space.

In particular, the spatial and functional qualification of each area by means of the specific characteristics and configuration of the mobile furniture (allows for the achievement of a very flexible and open space, opening up the possibility of potential change and adaptability. (table and seat type and configuration, couches and stalls for informal reading, puffs and carpets for infant areas, types, configuration and dimensions of shelves, furniture for audiovisual activities, etc.)

Finally, the façade envelope of glass (transparency) and wood (warmth) reinforces the indoors/outdoors continuity, projecting the library’s activities onto the public space of the city/ park, as it simultaneously introduces the natural serenity of the park into the reading rooms.


The Daegu Goasan public library is conceived as a meeting-place, where every citizen, independently from age, sex or social extraction, will move with entire freedom in order to obtain access to information, the means to maintain or to improve his/her education and knowledge and the acess to the diferent kinds of cultural entertainment offered.

The library contains the following Areas and Facilities:

Ground floor : an information desk and office space are placed at the core of the library, surrounded by a lounge in which information and media references can be retrieved. This leads to an open space, where the main reading room and the children room can be found.

First floor : upstairs, the remaining collection rooms are arranged into separate quieter spaces, accessible from a central lounge in which a library guide desk is available for further research. The digital data corner, more informally laid out, presides over the main entrance, with a view on the surroundings.

Basement : downstairs, exhibitions, lectures and other activities are held, secluded from the quieter spaces above. The basement also houses most of the maintenance space, including the preservation room.

Construction and materiality

The reinforced concrete retaining walls of the Basement floor will serve the function of foundations, adapting its square geometry to the specific uses placed on that floor. The structure above ground will combine reinforce concrete piers and slabs with laminated wood studs on the perimeter of the building.

The cover slab would benefit from a lighter quality, so we propose a steel plate structure, well adapted to the circular geometry and most probably prefabricated in a workshop. The roof surface finish will be zinc panels on boards, assembled on a ventilated fashion for climate control and the increase of insulation.

Double glazed glass with silk screen will be used on the façade surface for climate control, supported by a courting wall structure made of structural silicon, aluminum anchoring profiles and laminated wood vertical studs.

Rubber flooring for acoustical and maintenance reasons.

Competition: Daegu Gosan Public Library | Team: Luis Rojo de Castro, Begoña Fernandez-Shaw | Collaborator: Pablo Perez Schröder, Alberto Álvarez Agea, Seunghyun Kang | Post date: 12/02/2015 | Views: 2.946