Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP has recently completed a new library in Kisarazu, Japan, that has been built into the earth.
Almost hidden from view, the library is located in an area that was once a valley filled with construction debris.
Now rejuvenated, the land was able to be used, with the architects creating a small cleft in the earth, where a tranquil place suitable for farmers to rest was created.
When viewed from above, the cleft looks like a water drop, however when walking along the path, you arrive at curved walls of glass with bookshelves lining the walls behind.
Seating has been positioned between the bookshelves, while the ceiling heights have been determined by the slope of the land.
Areas with low ceilings have small hidden rooms that only children can enter, while at the deepest part, there’s a hall for storytelling.
The 40mm thick vertical frames of the bookshelves extend overhead to support the space. When a thin vertical beam supports the next one, and that vertical beam is also supported by its neighbor, a large space can be supported as a whole when the repetition makes a circle.
The top light at the center of the structure, which symbolizes the agricultural community of the area, frames a view that resembles the earth covered in blue sky and clouds.
Other smaller reading rooms also have skylights which provide natural light for reading.
Here’s a look at the plan and cross-section of the library.