Hyde Park is one of the best scenic places in London. It opened to the public in 1637 and had become one of London’s most beloved parks. Located in the heart of densely populated urban setting, it is a refuge for people to take a break in their daily routine. Reading books under trees and walking along the lakes are the most comfortable and relaxing experience in Hyde Park.
We came up with an idea of creating Hyde Park’s infinite horizon inside the library. The re-imagined library would allow people to experience a whole new kind of reading environment in the middle of Hyde Park with endless horizontal illusion. It is contradictory that people experience the borderless and infinite scenery in clear boundaries with a physical structure.
The site is located between the Serpentine and Rotten Row in the north and the south respectively. Simple box-shaped library building, the perimeters of the site are reflected, was proposed to accommodate an atrium. The building itself will be a frame to make the atrium inside as well as the space to serve other library programs. The atrium, enclosed by mirror walls, will be a canvas for a newly emerged panorama of Hyde Park.
The lobby is an in-between space, between Hyde Park and the atrium. In the lobby, with a height of 7 meters, the public programs of the library such as an information center and retail shops are provided to visitors in an integrated open space. Also, service rooms and facilities located on the basement floor. The four sides of the curved facade with a depth of 600mm thin vertical louvers and the long bookshelf corridor make up the building frame itself between the atrium and Hyde Park.
The last destination of the library is the atrium which is the main reading room area. Visitors face a vast horizon with trees and bookshelves. Existing trees on the site remained, and the four-sided mirror walls reflect the environment of the site endlessly and reproduce the vast horizontal scenery. The scenery of Hyde Park is replicated, but not the same as the scenes outside of the library. The Atrium, which measures 120 meters in length and 24 meters wide in the center of the library, surround with 10 meters high mirrors. Supported by 100mm rectangular white painted steel, the glass ceiling accepts the skylight inside and enables indoor activities. Public activities and the reading room will occupy the atrium beneath the glass ceiling.
The main goal of this project is creating an illusion that produces an infinite, non-physical landscape made by finite and physical materials. The library itself becomes the frame and the connection between Hyde Park and hidden landscape. The boundaries of the building exist but the appeared phenomenon is boundless. In a virtual imaginary landscape space, people explore the world of knowledge without limit.
An illusionary library-scape, hidden in Hyde Park, will be a new landmark in London.