Haimen Public Library

The six columns look like six people bowing at 15 degrees

The library is situated on a National Class AAAA historical site in Liang Hua Feng at the shoreline of Haimen in Guangdong Province, China. It was donated to the local government by a benefactor to honour his late father’s wishes of having a library in his hometown for the sake of the people’s education.

The formation of the site plan and floor plan has taken into consideration the city’s shoreline; historical landmarks; and history. The library is formed by two gigantic circles at diameters of 150 and 180 metres overlapping each other, creating a unique parametric pattern on the site plan. 

Facing the mass grave of the victims in World War II, the main façade comprises six huge columns that look like six people bowing at 15 degrees to the grave to show respect. It also carries an implication of the traditional Chinese discipline rule Di Zi Gui, which educates people to be respectful, humble and polite.

The local government officials have strictly instructed that any luxurious materials or exaggerative forms are prohibited for the library as it is located on a historical site, where the Lian Feng Gu Si, an ancient temple built in 1504, and the Lian Feng College, built in quadrangle style in 1594, are also nearby.

The superstructure of the library was built with eight by eight-metre column structures made of reinforced concrete—an economical material—to comply with the instructions and limited budget. Local clay bricks were used to construct most of the outer walls while the interior terrazzo flooring was made of natural stones collected from the shore. Both exterior and interior walls are covered with handmade artistic paint, which is a cheap, sustainable and easy-to-apply material. Moreover, since Haimen is well-known for seafood and sea shell products, the back entrance hall is deliberately decorated with chandeliers made of local sea shells.

Project Name

Haimen Public Library
Lianghuafeng, Chaoyang District, Shantou City, Guangdong Province, China
Completion Date
May 2022
Site Area
4,800 square metres
Gross Floor Area
2,800 square metres
Building Height
12 metres; 3 storeys (G/F, 1/F & roof top)
JRY Group Limited; Shantou City Government
Architecture Firm; Interior Design Firm; Lighting Consultant; Landscape Architect; Green Building Consultant
PplusP Designers Limited
Principal Architect & Designer
Wesley Liu
Civil & Structural Engineer; Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Shantou No.2 Institute of Architecture
Quantity Surveyor; Main Contractor; Interior Fit-Out Contractor
Shantou City Chaoyang District Construction Company
YinXiang Photo

This is an excerpt. The original article is published in
Construction+ Q4 2022 Issue: Year End (Review & Forecast).
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