Japan Foundation Library in Hanoi, Vietnam
Library Interior, Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam
The library is located within Hanoi’s French Quarter in a building over a hundred years old that has been designated of heritage
Approaches to renovation of historic buildings can be roughly categorized in two ways. One is to renovate avoiding significant
change to the external facade and main structure, the other way is to create new value by making a partial but effective change
to the external facade and main structure. Because of heritage regulations we were obliged to use the first approach to heritage
renovation, with minimal change to exterior façade and structure.
Before the renovation of the library there were bookshelves, chairs and table as furniture on the floor of the library room and
the openings were quite small as a result of the brick masonry structure.
Under conditions like these, we planned the library room to open into the internal space of the cultural center. Our first step was
to cover the walls entirely with bookshelves and continue this material and bookshelf design up and across the ceiling. In doing
this we aimed to create a space where one would feel surrounded in bookshelves and wrapped in books.
The collection of books in this library is set to double over the next 5 years and there will also be the replacement of many of
the books over time. As the books change so will the internal facade and we hope that this change brings joy to the visitors.
Type: Interior / Furniture
Place: Hanoi, Vietnam
Period: 2013.02-2013.04 [Design], 2013.04-2013.05 [Construction]
Team: Hiroomi Takemori, Tim Middleton
Construction: YenYen co Ltd.
Photo: Hiroyuki Oki