A new 'diamond' of culture is rising in Pudong

Yang Jian
The east branch of the Shanghai Library in Pudong is due to open in 2021, with all seven floors open to the public.
Yang Jian
A new 'diamond' of culture is rising in Pudong
Shanghai Construction No.4 (Group) Co. / Ti Gong

Construction of the east branch of the Shanghai Library in Pudong. Construction will be completed in 2020 and the new library will open in 2021.

The steel foundation of the east branch of the Shanghai Library in Pudong will be finished in September, on schedule for the complex's completion in 2020 and opening to the public in 2021, its constructor said on Saturday.

One of the latest cultural landmarks coming up in the city, covering 114,951 square meters, the library is next to Century Park, the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

The project aims to be the world's best comprehensive public library. It will not only make up for the shortage of cultural facilities in Pudong but also create a major cultural cluster with international influence for nearby cultural sites, according to the city government.

Seventy percent of the main structure, which resembles a delicate diamond floating in a large space of forest, has been completed since construction started in September 2017, said project manager Shanghai Construction No.4 (Group) Co.

The 50-meter-tall, 7-story building will be one of largest cantilever structures in China. Its upper part, between the third and seventh stories, stretches out beyond the ground floor by up to 16.8 meters to give it its unique diamond shape, said Zhang Yongzhi, company project manager.

The new library aims to be “a study, a living room and a studio” for every citizen.

Unlike the Shanghai Library, which opens only about 20 percent of its area to the public, all seven floors of the new branch will be accessible to readers, with about 4.8 million books on shelves and in digital versions.

The library authority says the new branch will not be merely a place for storing and reading books, but a place where people will gather and socialize.

A new 'diamond' of culture is rising in Pudong

An artistic rendition of the east branch of the Shanghai Library in Pudong

A new 'diamond' of culture is rising in Pudong
Lin Deying / Ti Gong

Project managers with several major construction projects are awarded on Saturday at a ceremony in Pudong. 

To achieve that goal, the library is being built with a large steel skeleton structure to support the cavernous indoor space, using more than 20,000 tons of steel, Zhang said.

"Prefabrication methods have been widely applied to reduce air pollution during the large scale construction," he added. 

"The unique cantilever structure requires massive welding work."

Zhang said new technologies such as Building Information Modeling, three-dimensional screening, cranes, facial recognition and virtual reality have also been widely used for the construction and for the management of workers.

The project was on Saturday named as a demonstration site for environmental protection and for respecting nearby residents. Another 100  local construction projects received the same award.

The 127 most environmentally friendly "star sites," awarded by the city's construction and civilization authorities as well as representatives of residents, include the Kunyang Road river bridge project connecting Minhang and Fengxian districts and the city's largest integrated circuit production line in Kangqiao Town of Pudong.

These sites are expected to be models for other construction sites across the city and in neighboring provinces to help promote the "civilized construction principle," said Xu Zheng, president of the Shanghai Construction Group and director of the Shanghai Construction Trade Association.

A new 'diamond' of culture is rising in Pudong
Ti Gong

An artistic rendition of the east branch of Shanghai Library in Pudong

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