top of page

The Stacks

City Main Library Gwangju

 International Competition


Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Dec. 2019 - Feb. 2020


Design Principals : Jaeho Jin, Junghyo Woo

Design Assistant : Donghyun Lee, Minchul Kim

The traditional program of a library is reimagined and the spaces are designed to be seamless and expandable. geometrically, the exterior and interior of the building are shaped as a slightly disorganized pile of books, aptly representing the library identity and allowing roof spaces to become habitable spaces, such as decks or large steps. this concept culminates through the main stepped reading room and library called ‘the stacks’.


the horizontality of the library is a key aspect of the proposal. Our first thought is that libraries should have a ‘horizontality’. inside space and programs want to be as wide as possible horizontally as possible, not vertically stacked hierarchical relationships.

In response to the axis of the site, the mass of the library is twisted to create a balance of tension and harmony with the surrounding context and activate the outdoor space. this contorted shape is also exposed within the interior and is emphasized in the main circulation space, which encompasses both vertical and horizontal movement.

The library is conceived as ‘a space of knowledge’.


We intends that the dynamic flow of space will help users easily move around and find the material they’re looking for. natural light is also central to the overall concept and the design includes a huge roof lantern that illuminates the atrium space and penetrates deep into the floor levels. 

And the light that penetrates into the library from the roof structure that faces this route will condense the atmosphere of the sacred space of knowledge and through the roof structure of the reading room, the city landscape viewed from the upper space will mingle with the dynamic space, thus creating a new experience of breaking the interior and exterior boundaries of the library.

“The Stacks” is the emotional space of visitors commensurate with changes in human emotions and perceptions. The space of library is focused on creating a sensory space to share our new learning environment and passion, breaking away from the traditional order and stereotypes of the space for displaying and preserving knowledge.

bottom of page