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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Musashino Art University Museum & Library in Tokyo, Japan by Sou Fujimoto Architects designed using Vectorworks

August 3rd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Sou Fujimoto Architects

This project is a new library for one of the distinguished art universities in Japan. It involves designing a new library building and refurbishing the existing building into an art gallery, which will ultimately create a new integration of the Library and the Art Gallery.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Iwan Baan)

  • Architect: Sou Fujimoto Architects
  • Name of Project: Musashino Art University Museum & Library
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Principal-in-charge: Sou Fujimoto,
  • Project Team: Koji Aoki, Naganobu Matsumura, Shintaro Homma, Tomoko Kosami, Takahiro Hata, Yoshihiro Nakazono, Masaki Iwata
  • Photo: Iwan Baan
  • Software used: Vectorworks

Interior View (Images Courtesy Iwan Baan)

  • Design: 2007-09
  • Construction: 2009-10
  • Client: Musashino Art University
  • Program: University Library
  • Consultants: Eishi Katsura, adviser
  • Jun Sato Structural Engineers: Jun Sato, Masayuki Takada, structural;
  • Kankyo Engineering: Takafumi Wada, Kazunari Ohishima, Hiroshi Takayama, MEP
  • Taku Satoh Design Office: Taku Satoh, Shingo Noma, Kuniaki Demura, Inoue
  • Industries: Takafumi Inoue, Azusa Jin, Yosuke Goto, Hideki Yamazaki,
  • General contractor: Taisei Corporation – Tsukasa Sakata
  • Structural system: steel frame, partly reinforced concrete
  • Site area: 111,691.93 m2
  • Built area: 2,883.18 m2
  • Total floor area: 6,419.17 m2

Interior View (Images Courtesy Iwan Baan)

The project described hereinafter is the plan of the new library which sits within the first phase of the total development. Acting as a huge ark, a total of 200,000 units, of which 100,000 will be out in an open-archive, while the other half within closed-archive, rests within this double-storey library of 6,500㎡ in floor area.

Entrance (Images Courtesy Iwan Baan)

Library made from bookshelves

When I thought of the elements which compose an ultimate library, they became books, bookshelves, light and the place. I imagined a place encircled by a single bookshelf in the form of a spiral. The domain encased within the infinite spiral itself is the library.

Infinite forest of books is created from layering of 9m high walls punctuated by large apertures. This spiral sequence of the bookshelf continues to eventually wrap the periphery of the site as the external wall, allowing the external appearance of the building to share the same elemental composition of the bookshelf-as-the-library.

One’s encounter with the colossally long bookshelf within the university landscape registers instantaneously as a library, yet astonishing in its dreamlike simplicity.

The library most library-like.

The simplest library.

Interior View (Images Courtesy Iwan Baan)

Investigation and Exploration

Investigation and exploration are two apparent contradictions inherent in the design of libraries. Investigation is, by definition, a systematic spatial arrangement for the purpose of finding specific books.  Even in the age of Google, the experience of searching for books within the library is marked by the order and arrangement of the physical volume of books.  The opposing concept to Investigation is the notion of Exploration.  The significance of library experience is also in discoveries the space engender to the users. One encounters the space as constantly renewed and transforming, discovers undefined relationships, and gains inspiration from unfamiliar fields.

To achieve the coexistence of the two concepts, spatial and configuration logics beyond mere systematics is employed. Here, the two apparent contradictions inherent in libraries are allowed to coexist by the form of spiral possessing two antinomic movements of radial path and rotational movement. The rotational; polar configuration achieves investigation, and the numerous layers through the radial apertures engender the notion of Exploration through an infinite depth of books. One can faintly recognize the entirety of library and at the same time imagine that there are unknown spaces which are rendered constantly imperceptible.

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Categories: Library, Museum, Vectorworks

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