Songdo Library International Competition Entry: CHIRON

Antti Ahlava, Daniela Lages (Designer), Angelina Kotyk (Designer), Emese Burista (Designer), Kai Schwenk (Designer), Aleksandar Pilyov (Designer), Tommi Mäkynen, Mirjam Niemeyer

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formArchitectureArt in coproduction

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Surprise Inside!
The themes of our design are multifaceted sustainability, including biodiversity, energy sources, building adaptability and rain water management; people-oriented, multi-use and modifiable, healthy and exciting micro-modular indoor spaces and the creation of recognisable, futuristic identity by the building’s organic volume and parametric envelope; and the fluent and many connections through the site and the building. Our concept combines these themes together with distinct strategies for the site (diversity), the building (identity) and the interior spaces (multitude).

22nd Century Library
Our library is more than smart. It is sustainable and imaginative, combining technological advances (eco-friendly systems) with artistic creation (memorable spatial definition). The library of the future could be a place for personal and communal development and civilisation, where innovation and creativity meet in imagination. This kind of library should create simultaneously personal space and connectivity with a community …and nature - an anthropocene library, where people live in symbiosis with knowledge and the Earth.

The Placement in the Nerve Centre of the Site
The placement of the building is in the middle of the site in order to leave enough open space and gardens surrounding the building, which has a symbiotic relationship with the site through the systems of circulation, energy, water, vegetation and heating. The diamond shape of the building creates four corner areas on the site with their different characteristics and different relationships to the surrounding plots.

City Image
The urban design guidelines of IFEZ require the articulation of the different levels of the building. This has been realised with the insets of facade lines in strategic positions.
The diamond shape of the building has been modified organically and its geometry makes the building adapt better to its surroundings and the gardens.

A New Spatial Indoor Standard: MIcro-Granularity
The changeability and adaptability of the micro-modular indoor elements supports user-orientation and the possibility to modify the configurations of the indoor space, which can be expanded and shrunk. These micro-granular, cave-like, but changeable spaces would be unique in architecture in the world. We have actually wanted to emphasise the labyrinthian character of the indoor spaces with a flexible and changeable model of spatial structures in the human scale in the indoor spaces. This supports the sustainable idea of changeability and flexibility adaptability for the future. The micro-modularity creates interesting spaces for books, sitting, reading, working, dining, etc., as an imaginative human-scale architectural space.

Parametric Envelope
An important feature in the building is its glass facade, which has a silk screen printing cover. The pattern is parametric and created taking into account sun exposure and views. The envelope of the building is not symbolic or decorative, but it actually controls optimally sunlight, heat and views.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
We suggest eco-friendly components for environmentally sustainable systems, including renewable energy, rainwater use and biodiversity. The strategy for energy production for the library is to produce geothermal heating and cooling on the site under the garden surrounding the building.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIncheon Yeonsu-gu Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
PublisherYeonsu-gu Office
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeF2 Partial implementation of a work of art or performance


  • building design
  • building sustainability

Field of art

  • Architecture


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