Public access to the eagerly anticipated Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects-designed Shanghai Library East in China has begun. The largest library in the nation is the 115,000 square metre Shanghai Library East, which is located in Shanghai’s Pudong neighbourhood.

The massive form was created by Schmidt Hammer Lassen in homage to the distinctive Taihu stone from the area, which features perforated surfaces and degraded hollows. The rock sometimes referred to as “scholars’ rocks,” has long been popular in Chinese gardens. It also appears in ancient Chinese literature, which frequently referred to its mutable appearance. According to project architect Jing Lin, “this library offered a rare chance to rework a beloved Chinese icon via architecture and design.”

The edges, curves, canyons, and tunnels of the Taihu stones, which appeared to alter when viewed from different angles, were what inspired ancient intellectuals to congregate around them, she continued. Similar to this, visitors’ perspectives of Shanghai Library East’s interconnected areas change as they go around the building.

The seven-story library’s exterior was also created by SHL to house reference materials. In honour of China’s lengthy tradition of printed literature, fifteen pictures of marble swirls were “printed” into the glass panels of the façade. To assist let more natural light into the structure, the printed panels were created with varying levels of transparency.

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