Toyonokuni Library for Cultural Resources
1991 - 1995
Site Area: 12,993 sqmBuilding Area: 6,692 sqmTotal Floor Area: 23,002 sqm
Nearly 30 years have passed since the opening of Oita Prefectural Library, building in 1966, the number of books have long since exceeded capacity. At the same time the computerization of the library holdings has been a concern in recent years.
The new plan called for a multiuse assembly combining a prefectural library, a public archive, and a "wise-man's resource center" on an approximately 15,000㎡site. The capacity of the new library is 1.6 million books, about four times that of the old structure. The 4,500㎡open-stack reading room, with 300 seats and 300,000 books, is presently the largest in west Japan. The space consists of an 81-unit grid of steel-reinforced concrete "cubes" without structural walls-an array of 7.5-cubic-meter units and 100 vertical columns. Ventilation and lighting are maintained as homogeneously as possible throughout the grid, while natural light filters down through regularly placed skylights.
This homogeneous grid can accommodate movement of partitions, increased computerization, and changes in shelf arrangement, all of which must be anticipated in a contemporary library. The "one-hundred-column space" is a prototype for public libraries that need not dictate the position of bookshelves, desks, computer terminals, people, or information. Such an arrangement facilities all conceivable alterations, as well as those not yet imagined.