Soon residents of Shenzhen, China’s fast developing technology center will have the ability to walk through the forest canopy and benefit from the green trees and clean air they generate.

Cantilevered metal roofs shade the glazed walls of this library designed by MLA+, which is connected by a treetop walkway to Shenzhen’s Xiangmi Park. Global architecture studio MLA+ designed the Xiangmi Science Library as part of its masterplan to regenerate Xiangmi Park, which is found in the Chinese city’s central Futian District. The park was originally used as an agricultural research centre, but was engulfed by the rapidly expanding city in the 1980s. Since then, the research facility has overseen the preservation of the park’s key features, including a large lychee orchard, fish ponds and an avenue of palm trees. The masterplan developed by MLA+ focused on retaining many of the 45-hectare park’s existing elements, while introducing new buildings and landscaping features that promote the use of spaces for both recreation and education. As with the other new and refurbished buildings in the park, the Xiangmi Science Library is intended to sit unobtrusively within its surroundings and encourage users to interact with nature. "Rather than being an intrusion, [the buildings] are devices that reveal some of the qualities of the local natural environment," the architects said. "In doing so, they stand in the tradition of classical Chinese garden architecture […]

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