The number of students in suburban public elementary schools in Taiwan has been reducing for some time. Many classrooms are becoming old and have been left idle for long periods of time. Lan-Tian Elementary School in Miaoli County participated in the Design Movement on Campus program launched by Taiwan Design Research Institute and cooperated with Studio In2 to renovate the classrooms. With limited resources, the school moved the library, which was originally located far from the classrooms, to a place near the classrooms. Two idle classrooms were combined and renovated into a new reading space.
In the campus surrounded by natural and countryside landscapes, Studio In2 designed a reading room featuring modern and simplicity elements. Through a crack-like design of the shelf, the books are freely arranged to form a scene like a city skyline. The shadow of the shelves, created by the change of lighting in different times, resembles the silhouette of a city. This symbolizes a passionate dialogue between city and countryside, with implicit signs hinting at the mutual gaze between them.
A “stroke” across the space connects the indoor and outdoor spaces and integrates the two originally separate classrooms. The smooth division of areas balances the function of book storage and aesthetics. By classifying objects into individual units, the design team maximize the flexibility of the use of desks and chairs.
An object may be used as a single unit or be combined with other objects into various unit sizes, which facilitates flexible use of the space for various purposes, such as group discussion, general group reading, and oral presentation. With the goals of environmental friendliness and renewability, the design team used birch plywood to create the book shelves and wwcb acoustic panels as the wall material to increase the anti-moisture, sound absorption, and demonstration functions. Secondhand chairs from other schools were renovated to fit into the new space. A pleasant reading space that features simplicity, functionality, design concepts, a portrayal of meaningful messages, the spirit of renewability, and appreciation of what we have is thus created.