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MAD’s ‘Wormhole Library’ Creates a Dreamscape by the South China Sea

Led by Ma Yansong, MAD Architects releases the design of the Wormhole Library, which sits on the coast in Haikou, Hainan Province in China.

The sensuously curved pavilion appears to be a “wormhole” that transcends time and space. It serves as a multi-functional building that allows visitors to read, enjoy views of the sea, and attend open-air performances, temporarily removing themselves from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The building is now under construction and will be completed in 2021.

a concrete pavilion next to sea Visualization by SAN

Located in southeast China, Haikou is the capital of Hainan province. It once served as an important port along the Maritime Silk Road, and today has become a key area of the Hainan free-trade island initiative.

In 2019, the local government launched the Haikou Bay rejuvenation plan in an effort to enhance the use of public space along the Haikou coastline. A series of pavilions by both domestic and international architects is under planning and the Wormhole Library will be the first one to be completed.

seaside building with illumination at night Visualization by SAN

Facing the South China Sea, the Wormhole Library is located in Century Park along the Haikou Bay coastline. The intimately scaled structure is cast of white concrete as a unit. The curved concrete walls not only serve as organic architectural structure, but also connect the ceiling, the ground and the walls together. Holes of varying sizes allow the architecture to breathe and meanwhile let natural light flood the interior. The grey spaces of the exterior corridors provide shady spots for passers-by to stop and rest.

building with the holes in the roof Visualization by SAN

The interior is composed of two parts: a 690-square-meter (7,430-square-foot) reading space that can store approximately 10,000 books, a café and a terrace; and a 300-square-meter (3,230-square-foot) public rest area that is equipped with a bicycle parking system, public bathrooms, and shower areas.

library building with holes in the roof Visualization by SAN

To ensure accuracy and seamlessness across the curved surfaces, the building is being cast using both a CNC and 3D printed model. All MEP has been designed to be hidden within the concrete cavity to minimize its appearance and create visual consistency. Curved sliding doors and retractable glass curtain walls not only provide views of the sea, but also enhance overall airflow and ventilation. In response to local weather conditions, the roof on the sunny side is cantilevered to achieve comfortable temperatures, realizing a sustainable and energy-saving building.

entrance steps to the building Visualization by SAN

MAD’s ‘Wormhole Library’ Creates a Dreamscape by the South China SeaVisualization by SAN

sea birds flying over the building Visualization by SAN

library building with a hole in the roof Visualization by SAN

building with oval shaped window toward the sea view Visualization by SAN

a circular hole in the ceiling let the natural sunlight enters the library room Visualization by SAN

building with illumination at night Visualization by SAN

man looking at the sea from the terrace of the building Visualization by SAN

young woman with official dress walking in the office Visualization by SAN

MAD’s ‘Wormhole Library’ Creates a Dreamscape by the South China SeaVisualization by SAN

white surface Visualization by SAN

Mockup building Mockup 

Mockup  at beach Mockup 

Site Map of a city in china Site Map 

Chinese city near beach Site Photo by Tianjing Media

building under construction at the sea side Site Photo by Tianjing Media

Master Plan Drawing Master Plan

First Floor Plan First Floor Plan 

Second Floor Plan Second Floor Plan 

Architectural Diagram Diagram 

Architectural Diagram Diagram 

Architectural Section Section

Architectural Section drawing Section


Project name: Wormhole Library

Architecture firm: MAD Architects

Location: Haikou, Hainan Province, China

Site Area: 4,397 m²

Building Area: 1,380 m²

Principle Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano

Associate in Charge: Fu Changrui

Design Team: Qiang Siyang, Sun Feifei, Dayie Wu, Shang Li, Alan Rodríguez Carrillo, Xie Qilin

Executive Architect: East China Architecture Design and Research Institute

Façade Consultant: RFR Shanghai

Construction Contractor: Yihuida Shimizu Concrete

Visualization: SAN

Client: Haikou Tourism & Culture Investment Holding Group

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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