EUS+ Architects has designed a library in Jeonju-Si, a city in the western part of South Korea, specifically for children between the ages of 12 and 16, which in South Korea is referred to as the “tween generation”. The design team led by Min W. Suh and JungWoo Ji created a third space away from school and home where the children can explore and widen their learning horizon. Located on the third floor of the newly constructed Jeonju Municipal Library, the tailor-made 3,397m² space was co-created in consultation with the stakeholders, in this case, the students.
“First, we let them write a journal called ‘Tween Note’ that contains questions about their daily life in Jeonju. We also did 1:1 scale design workshop in the empty space of the library to bring out the various expressions of the space. At the end of the construction, children supervised the space and provided their feedback,” explain the architects.
Through these processes, the architects figured out some points about their lifestyle and needs. Firstly, the tween generation wants to not only engage in activities like playing but also rest in a public space. Secondly, it’s very hard to define them, and even their expectations change every hour of the day. Thirdly, they need adults for guidance, not for instructions.
The original space is simply a long floor plate with an obtuse angle in the middle. Using this horizontal depth of the space, EUS+ ARCHITECTS designed this space as a unified territory not as a bunch of divided rooms. In this territory, there are four zones – ‘TalkTalk’ zone for communication, ‘KoongKoong’ zone for active programming, ‘SeukSeuk ‘zone for making, and ‘GomGome’ zone for relaxation – and zones arranged along an alleyway.
‘The Alleyway’ forms the key design element the inspiration for which came from the historic fortress walls of Jeonju, wherein the various zones are connected and unified so that children can explore the areas through it. The vibrant colour palette inside opens to different views in each direction, providing a change in scenery from each zone and preventing it from being jaded.
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Photos: Youngchae Park, Hyeondong Ju