Just 1 large room and 2 small rooms, this was the Tsing Hua School Library a hundred years ago, north of the Tsinghua Xuetang. Following the growth of the university, the library gradually expanded into an excellent learning facility for the students and faculty. Today it is not only a place for storing books and learning, but also has become an important landscape architecture.
The library premises were built in different phases. The first and second phases were completed before 1949, where the first stage was designed by American architect Henry Murphy in the spring of 1919, with a construction area of 2,114 square meters. It is a western classical architecture with a simple red brick exterior embellished with classical column-form stone. The interior is elegantly decorated with marble walls for the lobby, cork flooring, and glass floor and steel shelves in the stack rooms, definitely being world-class level at that time. Completed in November 1931, the second phase was designed by alumni Yang Tingbao, making the total area 7,700 square meters. The new addition has an Italian-style roof and Romanesque arched windows, and its west wing also pursues the original style with a lobby in the middle, and a large stack room in the back that can store 600,000 books. This integrated building has become the model of maintaining the original style after expansion in modern Chinese Architecture.
The third phase (Yifu Hall) was completed in September 1991. The building was designed by Mr. Guan Zhaoye, the Professor of the Tsinghua School of Architecture and the Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, with a construction area of 21,000 square meters. This new section takes the functional requirements to form a layout meeting the standards of a modern library with the retrieval hall in the middle encircled by the reading rooms. After its completion, the new and old buildings fused seamlessly together with a harmony and unity in architectural style and color, forming an elegant, culture-rich academic environment, and a window showing Tsinghua's features.
As Tsinghua ushered in her Centenary Celebration in April 2011, a new building—Kaifeng Humanities and Social Sciences Library was completed and put into operation. She was designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta with a building area of 20,000 square meters. The building is fused with circular and rectangular shapes, representing a key that opens the thesaurus of knowledge. Today, the library and its branches well serve the needs of both teachers and students. While providing comfortable, convenient, and modern services, these distinctive new and old buildings have also become beautiful landscapes on campus.
Originality: Spotlight Group
Text: Adam Chiu
Image: Spotlight Group
Group Design: Spotlight Group