Manuel A. Monteserín Designing The Future Learned From Tradition

Manuel A. Monteserín Design

A library that looks to the future by learning from tradition. This project seeks to maintain a balance between the traditional use of a library and the new uses demanded by contemporary citizens.

This library aims to integrate modernity with tradition. Inspired by traditional hanok construction, the access floor rises three meters above ground level and becomes independent from the ground. The open parking lot is located at ground level. Therefore, it allows natural ventilation and avoids the aggression to the ground that digging basements entails.

Manuel A. Monteserín Design
Manuel A. Monteserín Design

A wooden structure and a ceramic tile roof enable a quick and clean construction. It also gives the building the ability to be disassembled and recycled if necessary in the future. 

The building also adapts to the different orientations.The south facade’s deep eyes protects us from direct sunlight. On the other hand, the north facade will be closed with a curtain wall to ensure maximum light. To the west the building is protected from the sun with the placement of the toilets and vertical communication cores. In summer, the plaza curtain walls and skylights could be opened, allowing ventilation through the courtyard to reduce humidity and guarantee a better thermal sensation.

From the city, we will cross a garden that connects us to the Plaza. It is elevated above the street level in order to be independent from the traffic and to look out over the landscape. Cultural events, conferences and exhibitions are hosted in The Plaza. From here you can access different information spots and go up to the different areas of the library through the ramp. As we go up the ramp we are accompanied by thousands of reference books. They are arranged in a large shelves that goes up all over the space. This ramp and its library create the library’s great central void.

Manuel A. Monteserín Design
Manuel A. Monteserín Design

 Facing south we find the silent area organized in four levels. These spaces are intended for activities that require more concentration and more tranquility.It is a closed and soundproof area.It is a closed and soundproof area. It is built of wood and has an independent vertical circulation. The facade with its eyes allows reading, meditating or studying while looking at the landscape, the golf course and the sea on the horizon. This area represents the idea of sitting and reading on the windowsill, looking at the landscape and protected from the sun.

 The collaborative workspace will be located on three levels on the north side and will be used for activities that do not require absolute silence. On the second floor there will be a library for children. On the third floor there will be several tables to study and work in groups. On the fourth floor will be the classrooms. All levels are connected with a rest area equipped with a vending point where you can have a coffee and chat with your friends during breaks.

Manuel A. Monteserín Design


Location: Songdo, South Korea

Year: 2021

Status: Competition

Typology: Cultural, Library, Public space

Architect (Team Leader): Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz

Team: Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz, Lucia de Ancos, Virginia Herrera, Javier Simó, Ignacio A. Monteserín Lahoz, Aman Rai, Maria Mallo, Yeonghwa Choe

3D Images: Show Me The Project

Comic images: Manu-Facturas

Visuals with courtesy of Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz


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