Hong Kong-based art non-profit and library Asia Art Archive is a platform for new concepts focusing on historically marginalised art knowledge and histories. Revamped by local architecture studio LAAB Architects, the library, home to more than 120,000 historical art materials, seeks to identify itself as a nurturing, inviting and inclusive space for people, books, and everything in between.
The renovation involves replacing the walls with floor-to-ceiling glass panels, allowing abundant natural light inside and transforming the library into an inviting and spacious space. Additionally, removing the non-structural walls and lining them with a wooden shelving system allowed room for community engagement.
While functioning as book storage, the bookshelves add a sense of transparency and openness. The library's centre is an open, adaptable, and undefined area that enables users to modify the space as per their needs, whether to host a reading, meeting, seminar, or exhibition.
Lightweight custom furniture adjusts to the different spatial configurations. The arrangement of the bookshelves frames panoramic views of the Sheung Wan neighbourhood. Taking cues from the former design, the windows are integrated with an exhibition system with a built-in light source and cable management.
The library is notable for its use of sustainable materials featuring natural cork flooring that decomposes at the end of its life cycle and linoleum flooring comprising 97% natural and made from 40% recycled content. Additionally, the library reuses old furniture from the previous design.