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The inverted stepped shape clad in champagne-coloured aluminium is supported by a grid of columns. The columns are paired in fours and look like infrastructural piping. Mecanoo in collaboration with MAYU were inspired by the local culture and tropical Taiwanese climate.
The top volume is wrapped with vertical aluminium slats in a flower pattern that refers back to decorative latticed windows that can be found in Tainan’s old town. The slats filter the incoming daylight and keep out the heat.
The large cantilevers cover four sunken patios for outdoor activities. The largest one is accessible from the square and can be used to organize lectures, concerts and exhibitions. The awnings are finished with rhythmic aluminium panels.
The bottom floor has a public character with stone pavement and a double-height central atrium inhabited with a work of art by Paul Cocksedge.
When you enter the visitor is greeted by the arrival area, welcome desk and a living room where you can browse through newspapers and magazines.
In the basement the children’s library is located connected to an adjoining patio for children to play outside. This level also has a study room with its own entrance that students can access 24/7.
A red sculptural staircase leads to the upper levels. It is visible from all levels through the wooden slats to orient the visitor.
The upper levels house a media library, the general collection, heritage collection, four outdoor roof gardens, three multifunctional spaces for classrooms/workshops and a cafe. At the top level you can find a theatre and conference hall. The top floors give a panoramic view of the city through the vertical slats.