The project site for the Gwangju City Main Library is a garbage incineration site at the northern end of the Sangmu cultural complex belt with an image of a neglected, abandoned low-quality industrial district which neither serves the public, nor contributes to the expansion of the cultural value and diversity of the district.


The aim of the project is to regenerate the site to create a complex platform for cultural diversity while maintaining the imagery of cylindrical industrial facilities and silos. The cylindrical structures of the soon-to-be-demolished buildings are preserved and gentrified, together with the tower of the heat supply facility and the Sangmu Incinerator, in order to turn the site to a public interaction spot. The proposed building is a single, rhythmic landmark that manages to form active linkages with all the facilities on the site by generating public spaces as well as the reserved adjacent sites and the Gwangju stream on the north. This future city main library aims to not only be a place to read books, but also a place for creativity, communication and solidarity.


The repetitive cylindrical form of the building provides flexible and convertible interior planning. This rhythmic modularity allows the functional areas of the library to change and expand if needed in the future.  The semi-circular facade modules serve many different functions such as cultural education spaces, exhibition areas, common space areas and material rooms. There are a variety of uses proposed for these modules such as reading areas, book shelves, exhibition stands, multi-purpose rooms, private offices, circulation shafts, etc.


01 INCINERATOR & CYLINDRICAL SILOS  The cylindrical structures of the incinerator buildings are considered to be components of the cultural facility, each representing a different function. The main chimney acts as a landmark for the site, welcoming the visitors while the heat supply facility's silo is planned to be a public terrace - restaurant for future use. The non-demolished silo located near the parking lot becomes a ramp and an overpass that reaches the stream while being converted into a water storage tank which utilizes precipitation and distributes it through the site.

02 GREEN AREAS  The green zones and the existing trees created during the construction of the incinerators are all preserved and kept as they are. The remaining empty southern section of the project site is considered to be the most efficient area for the library building to be located at. Additional tree line is proposed on the main pedestrian east - west axis in order to provide shading.

03 VEHICLE & SERVICE CIRCULATION  Two passenger vehicle entrances (PV) are planned securing linkage with the street network. The service vehicles enter the site from a separate entrance (SV) at the southwest part and continue directly to underground unloading space and maintenance facilities, in order to avoid intersection with visitors. The outdoor parking area consists of 65 parking lots and the parking for the disabled are situated right across the main entrance of the library. 10 parking spots for the service vehicles are close to the office entrance on the west side of the building.

04 PEDESTRIAN ROADS & CONNECTIONS The integrated walking network allows the pedestrians to access nearby public facilities as well as the regenerated factory buildings. The 3 entrances of the building each define a public square with connection to the incinerator on the east side and the adjacent area on the southern side. With the main building of the heat supply facility being demolished, the main entrance public square will become the central access to the library from the northern side of the site.





Project Year

Gwangju, S.Korea

Gwangju Metro. Municipality


International Competition Project

10500 m²




Sacit Arda KARAATLI  

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