Positioned within the small village of Huairou, a two hours drive away from the urban center of Beijing, China, the ‘Liyuan Library’ by Chinese practice Li Xiaodong Atelier is encompassed within a mountainous and forested landscape. A five minute stroll from the village’s center, the fully glazed interior contains quiet and contemplative reading spaces and a series of platforms which integrate shelving for books. After analyzing the region’s characteristics, an exterior screen clad with ordinary sticks was chosen to conceal the glass facade, receding into the surrounding nature without competing with it.
The original use for the material is to heat the villager’s cooking stoves and was found in collected piles around homes of the area. The locally sourced components were placed in rows with slight spacing leading to an evenly diffused light for a brightly illuminated reading atmosphere.
A cubic grid of structural timber encloses the 175 square meter area, becoming a uniform framework for stairs, windows and stepped seating for impromptu chairs.