'Not Just Library' reopens at Songshan Creative and Cultural Park

07/02/2020 07:14 PM
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Photo courtesy of the TDRI
Photo courtesy of the TDRI

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) reopened its design library at a new location, previously used as a bathhouse, Wednesday.

"Not Just Library," the name of the library, has a collection of over 20,000 design-themed books and more than 100 periodicals, according to the state-backed institute.

The library first opened in 2014 at Taiwan Design Museum in Songshan Creative and Cultural Park, a site known for its history as Taiwan's first modernized tobacco factory.

The library was redesigned in collaboration with design firm JC Architecture and landscape designer Wu Shu-yuan (吳書原), constructing a space and atmosphere for people to "bathe in knowledge through the company of books, sunlight, plants, and scents," the TDRI said.

The library not only allows ticket holders to take out books, it also has a reading area and is a venue for design related exhibitions, lectures, and experiments, extending the "not just" design concept, according to the TDRI.

Photo courtesy of the TDRI
Photo courtesy of the TDRI

Unlike traditional tables with spacious surfaces and work areas, the "Book Bath" area builds on the image of an indoor bathtub, retaining part of the original interior and creating a platform through which visitors descend surrounded by books. This symbolizes being immersed in knowledge, the institute said.

Maintaining interior details from the Japanese colonial period, the façade of the semi-circular bathtub, the "Bathhouse," represents a vessel that holds different ideas and thoughts, indicating the library's potential to develop into a diverse immersive experience in the future, the TDRI said.

The "Outdoor Garden," which was originally a patio where underground steam was released, is now an al fresco reading area where visitors can take a break and get some fresh air.

The library plans to introduce a "Book Card Plan" to revive the sentimental connection represented by written book cards and the connection between readers across time and space, the library said.

"Not Just Library" is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, and closed on Mondays and national holidays, with day-pass tickets costing NT$80 (US$2.71) and student tickets priced at NT$60.

(By Sabine Cheng and intern Melissa Wu)

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Photo courtesy of the TDRI
Photo courtesy of the TDRI
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