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Taipei's Leading Green Library: Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch

1.From the front the Beitou public-library branch looks like a giant tree fort, and from the rear like a vast cruise ship. The magnificent sloping turf roof preserves humidity and moisture build-up and drains water to rainwater recycling troughs. The recycled water is used to water plants and flush toilets, playing a key role in the facility’s greenification and reducing water - resource was tage. Roof top photovoltaic cells are also in place to capture solar energy, capable of generating an impressive 16 kilowatts.

2.Visitors to this Beitou green space can immerse themselves in a tranquil reading oasis.In addition, deep balcony coverings and perpendicular wood window latticing reduces the entry of thermal radiation into the interior, lowering energy consumption and enhancing energy-saving efficiency.

In addition, a monitoring system for photovoltaic cells has been positioned on the wall of the first floor, which gives clear indication of the amount of electricity being generated by the solar-cell bank. The many eco-friendly approaches here described led to the library being awarded first prize in the coveted 2007 Architecture Awards.

Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch

Tues-Sat 8:30am-9:00pm / Sun-Mon 9:00am-5:00pm; closed first Thursday each month
Tel: (02) 2897-7682
251, Guangming Rd., Beitou District

The facility sports three levels, one below ground and two above. The two above-ground floors have balcony extensions that create a reading space which blends seamlessly with the surrounding natural environments, overflowing with the airs of a rural idyll. Inside lovers of the printed word—perhaps we should say “the printed character” here—can explore a newspaper and periodicals section, reference section, computer-search section, locality documentation section, Chinese-language books area, open-air reading balconies, special-collections section, and much more that will stimulate.

3.This eco-sensitive architectural masterpiece is made completely of wood and steel.The diversified seating and 110-cm display shelving lend a sense of openness and soaring height to the interior. The oppressive sense of cut-up and cut-off space evident in most libraries by high, large-block shelving is avoided. Liberal use of wall glass allows full viewing of the parkland on the south and running stream on the north sides, and also allows natural sunlight to stream inside, creating beauty, brightness, and invigorating sensory stimulation. What has been created here is a place where one and all can take full advantage of the right and the privilege to read within a space providing a woven tapestry of green shade and a secluded oasis of solitude and contemplation.

So why don’t you hop on the MRT’s Danshui line right now, then head down the short Xin Beitou branch line, to get yourself to a place that is physically close yet so very far away from the regular din of the city, enveloping yourself in the fascinatingly fragrant world of the written word!