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NATIONAL DIET LIBRARY

KANSAI SCIENCE CITY, JAPAN (1996)


The new Kansai -kan of the Nation-al Diet Library, the national central library in Japan, will be the core facility of the new town of Kansai Science City. The Kansai-kan will be composed of stacks, service system, library cooperation system, operational system, administrative system, common departments and training center. As the principal archive of the National Library for all of Japan, it is important that the symbolic form of the new library embraces the philosophy, spirit and history of the Japanese people. For this reason, Emilio Ambasz uses the form of the ancient earth mound, one of the earliest architectural representations of sacred wisdom in Japan, as a powerful architectural prototype for the new national library archives. The outer form of the library appears from the front as a natural mound of earth, serenely landscaped in the tradition of Japanese meditation gardens. Embraced by a reflecting pool, it suggests the fundamental beauty and serenity of the natural environment, protected from the chaos of the modern world, a place of wisdom and reflection. An undulating stone wall slices through the mound of earth, transforming it on the opposite side into a five-tiered series of man-made, flowering terraces. The natural hillside on one side and the man-made hillside on the other co-exist, inseparable and in harmony.




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