The Seashore Library

Posted by Stephen Petrey on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

There is an overwhelming sensation of solitude that overcomes you when you peer deep into the ocean from a solemn place. It’s soothing to ponder life’s mysteries by the seashore during a calm season. I’d venture to say there are more merits to visiting a beach in the offseason as well, devoid of visitors would make for a compelling place to think. I recommend it to anyone seeking solace or contemplation.

Gong Dong, the founder of Vector Architects designed an incredible library marvel that sits just above the northeastern shoreline of Nandaihe in Qinhuangdao, China. It’s a quickly growing prefecture-level port city (meaning it’s not as large as a sprawling province and ranks above county administrative status). We can expect more architectural marvels to be built here as the city continues to grow.

The film below illustrates the architectural vision for the library (there are English subtitles available). In the film, Dong states he was initially inspired by a print of an Andrew Wyeth painting, an American artist who regularly explores solitude and nature (among other complex themes).

Wyeth’s career began as a realist, and he was later influenced by impressionistic works. He considered himself to be an abstractionist, which is apt, considering his dreamlike scenes and ethereal intimacy with the land and sea. His works often leave you feeling like you’re witnessing a simulation. There’s certain spiritual relationship with the unspoken in his paintings — captivating the emotion of the solitary subject.

You can see more photographs of The Seashore Library below, or visit ArchDaily for the complete archive of photos.


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