Monday, 30 April 2012

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Day 2; Library Developments

University Main Library
As I mentioned yesterday, the campus is notionally split into 3, the upper level, the mid-level and the lower level.

The Main University Library is located in the Centre of campus and faces into a wide plaza area

Plaza area showing new walkway and extension
A new extension to the Main Library in currently under construction, completion is due in September 2012 in time for the new expanded cohort of students (approximately 3,000 extra students).

View of man entrance to library with new extension
The existing library space

The University Library is housed in a large building which has been extended and evolved over the years.

And, although it is traditional in design,

University Reading Room
it has some very interesting internal features

Glass lined corridor
There are a number of modern looking curved glass walls creating study rooms of various sizes throughout the building.

Open access study rooms behind glazed partitions
The pictures don't do the screens justice as they are curved and give the corridor a clean and modern feel.   I thought that these were recent additions, but they are in fact part of the original fabric

Behind some screens are a range of bookable group study rooms
Touring through the building we came to the University Reading room which is the largest open study space in the building and is a double height space.  Accommodating study on the lower level and giving access to books on the upper level. 

Both formal study spaces and informal reading places here
At this time, Students are revising for examinations, and all of the study spaces in the library were very quiet.

View from the balcony, note green sheeting at rear of room

Enquiry desk in the reading room
Behind the enquiry desk are some small rooms where students can meet with Librarians for individual consultations/clinic about library services etc.

View from study balcony
 In addition to the large open study areas, there are plenty of smaller, individual study spaces throughout the library for those students who prefer to work differently

individual study spaces
Despite the quiet working of the students, the works alongside the building could be heard, although it wasn't too much, and in some areas of the library there was evidence of where the works are breaking through into the main building

Rooms still in use whilst works underway,
sheeting to prevent dust ingress

Development of the Main Library

The Main Library of CUHK is set in the middle of Campus, located with many other university functions including the main  university administration and Museum of Chinese Art . In front of the entrance is an impressive piece of art called “Gate of wisdom”

Gate of Wisdom at the entrance of the Main Library
The extension to the building is being constructed along the length of the building using space which was the library car park.

A road runs between the new extension and the mountainside
It is a modern glass and steel structure in complete contrast to the existing building, but on completion will have several connections into the main building.  This has enabled the existing library to continue to be open during the building process without too much disruption.

New extension with new walkway and pool under construction
Included in the scheme is the redevelopment of the plaza which will include a covered walkway and a water feature

View of new pool area
The extension will consist of three floors, one of which will be a “Research Commons” for PG students.  Another floor will be dedicated to house the collections from the University’s Nobel Prize winners, which include two prize winners for literature.

Professor Jao Tsung_I
A huge, 24/7 open access Learning Commons is under construction underground, and unfortunately, therefore not currently accessible to visitors.

The commons will be located under the plaza in front of the library, with the entrance located in the new Library extension.

The learning commons is being built beneath this plaza
Although underground, natural light will be provided using glazed ceiling panels, but which will also form the base to a new water feature, resulting in soft and dappled light entering the Learning Commons

Koi Carp at CUHK
The next few months will be a busy and exciting time in the development of this space, and it will be interesting to see pictures of the completed facility later in the year. I shall be keeping in touch with CUHK to see how the spaces progress.

Final view of the bay from the AVSU Building

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