UNStudio unveils his design proposal entry for Library of the Future and Center for New Media

In 2008, six partners — the Flemish Community, the province Oost-Vlaanderen, the city of Gent, the AG urban development company in Gent, the Unviersity of Gent and IBBT — organized a competition for the renovation of the Waalse Krook Urban Library of the Future and Center for New Media. The Waalse Krook is one of Gent's most important urban renewal projects and is called to be an attraction for the city.
as Wim de Waele, director of IBBT says:" As a research center we want to think about and shape this innovative concept and building. The international radiation of this project is important and Gent has the knowledge to make it happen. The cooperation with among other the University of Gent will result in new synergies in the field of technologies renewal. It will position Gent — and IBBT — even more as a center of creativity and innovation."

Waalse Krook CVBA has invited five designers to submit their design to the Flemish Government Architect.
These five designers are:
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Aarhus/Denmark
Van Berkel & Bos/UNStudio, Amsterdam/The Netherlands
Toyo Ito & Associates, Tokyo/Japan
TV Aranda Pigem Vilalta Arquitectes and Coussee & Goris Architects
THV Mateus Beel, Gent/Belgium, Lisbon/Portugal

The Urban Library Competition has been won by team RCR Arquitectes and Coussee and Goris.
The renovation of this building is due to be completed in 2013.

UNStudio's design proposal creates a dynamic, flexible and open knowledge environment, with an open landscape, alternative circulation routes, several meeting areas and a public plaza.
Urban Library of the Future and Center for New Media, Gent, Belgium, © UNStudio

This long building which surface area is 19,498.2 square meters, consists of layers superposed in accordance with the three libraries: culture, sciences and youth.
© UNStudio
> The building has been lifted up to provide public spaces.
A link connects the Library site to the city.

It contains green roof terraces. This layered volume provides low levels of direct sunlight penetration.
Diagram © UNStudio
> Three libraries structures the interior spaces of this volume: sciences, youth and culture

This low construction volume has been lifted up to provide public spaces around. A bridge connects the library to the rest of the city. The verticality of this building allows expansive sightlines to the city.
© UNStudio
> Diagram plays an important role from the sketch (first ideas)
to the construction. This diagram shows how these entities are connected. Non public, semi public and public seem
to be interlocked. Yet the articulation of inner spaces permits to avoid
the access of back offices, logistic spaces. Some space are semi-public other
are dedicated to atelier and forum.

Such as layers, the open central void organizes vertically the distribution of the interior spaces and the circulation. This void creates orientation through the building and fulfills a bridging function between the city and the Municipal Library.

Exploded Axonometric and programmes © UNStudio
> These four layers are connected by the open central void. 
Three fields articulate the Waalse Krouk: culture, youth, and sciences. Each room is spacious enough to welcome users. The auditorium occupies the ground level shared with back office and the center for new media. The main access is located in the central void.
© UNStudio
> The atrium provides natural light to illuminate
the inner spaces and creates a spatial experience for the users.

The first level is composed of culture library, study rooms, sciences library, and back office library while the second one gathers a restaurant, the sciences library, study rooms and culture library. The third and last level is dedicated to youth library.

Building facts
Project: Waalse Krook Urban Library of the Future and Center for New Media
Programme: Library and Centre for New Media
Architect: UNStudio
Client: CVBA Waalse Krok
Location: Gent, Belgium
Structure: ABT, Antwerp and Netherlands
Local architect: Crepain Binst Architecture, Antwerp
Building surface: 19,498.2 sqm
Status: Competition entry

All courtesy UNStudio

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