Description: The Pingtan Children’s library is located in the Dong Minority village of Pingtan, Tongdao Province, Hunan, China. This small timber structure, three stories high and approximately 80 sqm in area is entirely built in timber. The building is located within a primary school courtyard serving more than 400 local children. Rather than a building with floors and rooms, this is a building consisting of two interwoven spiral staircases, a double helix that in turn becomes both the vertical circulation and the seating for the children.

As a building typology, it follows the traditional Dong House, with a tiled pitch roof and mortise and tenon timber construction system of interlocking columns and beams. Of the four elevations, two are dedicated to views, of the courtyard and adjacent rice fields, while the other two are reserved for books. This is no ordinary children’s library, it is a place where kids read and play at the same time, a new paradigm for rural village libraries in China.

Company: Condition_Lab

Award: World Architecture Festival (UK)