Chongli Mountain Library
The Mountain Library design consists of the interior fitting of a 2000m2 existing building at the heart of the Fulong Ski Resort, and the landscape of its surrounding areas. The project is located in Chongli district, a mountainous area of Zhangjiakou in Hebei province (about 200 km from Beijing) where most of the 2022 Winter Olympics skiing events took place. As a complementary facility for the resort, the building hosts a library, coffee shop, and small hotel lobby.
The existing architecture consists of three floors composed by two curved interlocking volumes that revolve around a central sunken patio. The interior design unified this partitioned preexistent architecture to maximize the available space and enhance the experience.
The building is separated into two functional systems. The library per se occupies most of the building, extending from the ground level entrance to a monumental staircase down to the full underground level, where public and private reading rooms, a children’s area, and an interactive space are the main attractions. A multifunctional room on the second floor complements the library’s functions. The second system is located on the red wing, where the Coffee Shop and Hotel Lobby merge into a continuous space from where guests can relax and admire the ski slopes and mountain scenery. A playground and outdoor coffee shop seating, complement the interior.
The Mountain Library
The Library entrance is a discreet reception hall with an information counter and services right by the circulation core, this layout favors the independence of functions, especially regarding the second level. The Multifunction room on the second level is a flexible open space that can be adjusted to any particular requirements, with fully equipped service areas that facilitate the celebration of a wide range of activities.
The reading rooms and main collection are located past the circulation core. The first impression is a space that opens up to the beginning of a seemingly infinite bookcase that flows down with the focal point of the building; the staircase. A wide livable staircase connects the ground floor and underground level, serving both as an enormous bookshelf and informal seating area with ample views of the interior spaces and sunken courtyard. In the Underground, reading rooms and study spaces surround a well-manicured patio that brings natural light and scenery into this basement level. Opposite, rows and rows of books pile on high and undulating bookshelves that become the highlight of the level. The seemingly infinite bookshelf works as well as a partition, defining private meeting rooms and the interactive space.
Hotel Lobby and Coffee Shop
The second system, or the “red wing” composed of the Hotel and Coffee areas, is characterized by floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for the contemplation of the ski slopes. A warmer palette and lighting hues were chosen, emphasizing the feeling of shelter from the cold snowy landscape in front, being the area with the closest connection to the exterior.
The Hotel Lobby occupies the highest interior space at the Northeast end of the building, conveniently close to the parking lot. The area artfully exhibits the resort’s architectural model in the center of a relaxed and comfy atmosphere engulfed with books and art pieces. From the Hotel entrance towards the library’s end, the ceiling lowers down and builds a more intimate environment throughout the long south-facing space of the Coffee shop. Here begins a more informal atmosphere where seating is always soft and relaxed, lighting dim, and the design element sinuous, building a perfect setting for the contemplation of the beautiful landscape.
The proposal ultimately seeks to enrich the resort experience with a striking sculptural space that, unlike the mostly activity-oriented exteriors, gives way to an ambiance of peaceful enjoyment and relaxation. A warm oasis in a winter playground.