The library will be the City's everlasting culture footprint
After Kaohsiung City and County were merged, 61 libraries belonged to the greater Kaohsiung metropolitan area, and new branches were planned every year in line with the City’s development. The Main Library served as a hub for these branches. As the previous main library located on Minsheng Road was an old architectural structure with 30 years of history, it presented a very cramped space, only 1900 ping (approximately 6,281 square meters). As it was not designed originally as a library, the structure did not have a collection, nor did it fulfill the needs of the public. Therefore, a change was urgently needed to provide some 2,700,000 members of the public with comfortable space in which they could read, and a main library with an abundant collection.
The new Main Library is located within the Asia New Bay Area, a district the Kaohsiung City Government is putting great effort into creating at present, and the Main Library was the first step in Kaohsiung City’s transformation. An international design competition was undertaken for the construction of a green architectural structure of minimalist design. In 2009, the City started its design appraisal and in 2011, an overall plan was passed. On October 12, 2012, Kaohsiung’s mayor, Chen Chu, led a group of approximately one hundred people from various fields and industries in breaking ground. In November 2014, the library became operational.
The opening of the Main Library was the attainment of the Kaohsiung public’s expectations: a shared goal of knowledge-based sustainability for the City. The Kaohsiung Main Library is opened for all of its citizens, and it is a source of pride for the City as a new cultural landmark.
The Main Library is based in the Asia New Bay Area next to Kaohsiung’s waterfront and the Sanduo Shopping District. The Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit Red Line R8 is nearby, and a Light Rail system serving this area is being promoted as well. The library integrates the Kaohsiung Exhibition and Convention Center and the Kaohsiung Maritime Culture and Popular Music Center, in addition to other large construction projects awarded through international design competitions, as well as the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park. This library in the middle of these public works will give the City a new title as a “cultural gateway” and national landmark.
The new Main Library sits on approximately 2 hectares of land, and the overall design consists of one underground and eight floors above ground. It also has a garden platform on the roof; the building is approximately 40 meters in height. The total floor area of the library is up to 37,233 square meters, thus allowing the structure to accommodate close to one million monographs( or books), and providing Kaohsiung’s citizens with cultural space of the highest quality in which to read.