IO won an AIA Merit Award 2011 for the new Dalian Public Library

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The American Institute of Architects Hong Kong Chapter , in accordance with the judgment of its Honor Awards Jury, recently confers a MERIT AWARD for Unbuilt Projects 2011 to TED GIVENS, Design Partner of IO for excellence in architectural design for the DALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARY, China.


Jurors' comments: "The jurors found this design engaging and dynamic. The central vortex was described as creating a focal area for an interesting series of spaces for the community. The building section illustrated for the jurors, the attention for both an urban and internal connectivity. The various adjoining spaces spiral inward in celebrating how the library can become a community center for the neighborhood."

Ted and his team have previously submitted the scheme to the Dalian Planning Bureau for an international design competition. In the competition, IO is pleased to be able to compete with some of the world's most high profile architects including Zaha Hadid Architects, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Hopkins Architects and AC Architects." Givens says, "Although the decision on the commission of this project is yet to be announced, we are proud that the design has already gained recognition from a professional body, the AIA." 


The library is intended to be a transformative environment that pulls visitors into a unique landscape. The building weaves into the ground creating a series of courtyards and topographic undulations- rooting itself, and then sweeping up into the air forming a bold urban landmark. The shifting of the mass creates spaces ranging from the intimate spaces for reflection in the courtyard to the dynamic and expansive views offered from the tower volume. The tower volume has a series of internal voids and terraced spaces to further enhance the variety of spatial conditions and to provide internal connectivity. A series of retail functions including cafes will help draw a larger audience to the library. A large media center that shares the central drop-off can be used after hours and function independently.

The mass responds and is shaped by views into the site and outward to the surrounding sea and mountains. A green hill over the media center forms an outdoor gathering space and amphitheater and will offer water views to the southern sea. A roof top café on the tower volume provides panoramic views of the mountains and sea.

The façade of the library is a dark grey brass that will develop a beautiful patina over time. The metal skin will have a natural resistance to the marine conditions and harsh weather. The smaller voids in the buildings mass will use an anodized aluminum brass alloy to remain vibrant and colorful as the rest of the building transforms with time.


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