The Liyuan Library by Li Xiaodong Atelier is located along a small creek in a natural area, a short walk outside the village of Huairou in China. Though not a school, with so much discussion about the future of libraries in schools, we like to look at exemplary projects around the world to learn about emerging trends, as well as to find the special qualities inherent in libraries that can enhance the learning experience in schools.
Our JUST ONE THING this week is places to read. One of the most important functions of a school library is as a place to read, promoting literacy as a basis of learning, whether the media is an actual book or an e-book. We got asked once at a workshop where we all liked to read – very few of us thought it would be at the typical school library.
The Liyuan library is such a beautiful and inspiring place to go to read, providing a challenge on how we can rethink the institutional aspects of school design. The design provides cues such as natural views, daylight, outdoor connections, natural materials, small intimate spaces, and a variety of settings, whether they are cushions, benches, or tables. Li Xaiodong Atelier