Open Architecture Creates a Bibliotheater Reminiscent of a Blue Whale for the Qingpu Pinghe International School in Shanghai
When the Qingpu Pinghe International School approached founding partners Hu Li and Wenjing Huang to conceive a new campus for 2,000 students aged 3 to 18 years, the architects decided not to follow the city’s “school-as-megastructure” trend. Rather they envisioned a village of smaller buildings through which the pupils move as their studies progress. At the heart of the compound is the 58,000-square-foot bibliotheater—a combined library, proscenium theater, and black-box performance space—known affectionately as “the blue whale” for its distinctive shape and color. The theater and black box occupy the ground floor, while the two upper levels house the library and reading areas. The latter include a dramatic central area where a protruding oculus presides over a circle of bleachers around which low bookcases radiate like the spokes of a wheel. More bookshelves line the walls, which are punctuated with a series of portholes, a recurring motif throughout the building: “Their round shape came naturally,” Li notes, “like light beams, uniform yet dancing around.” Born of the architects’ belief that reading and performing are critical components of early education, the unusual library-theater hybrid has proved prescient: “It’s now,” Huang reports, “an important part of a student’s campus life.”
X+Living Takes Home a Best of Year Award for This Futuristic Bookstore
2021 Best of Year winner for Bookstore. The Dujiangyan irrigation system, a UNESCO World Heritage site just outside this southwestern city, might date back to the third century B.C., but its distinctive form has inspired…
Best of Year Awards 2021
Interior Design celebrates design in all its forms with the 2021 Best of Year Awards. See the winner’s gallery here.
Olson Kundig Overhauls an Experiential Campus for Kids in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
2021 Best of Year winner for Kids Zone. Steeped in museum design in general and children’s spaces in particular—Noah’s Ark at Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, and its counterpart, The Children’s World of th…