Dianju Village Library Competition

Wall of Knowledge,

Wall to Connect

Hong Kong 2019


The idea behind this building is to cre-ate an “inhabited wall” around the pe-rimeter of the site.  The wall becomes the library creating a designed Inside/Outside experience for the community to experience.  The inner space is lit-erally a sequence of connected rooms inside the thickness of the wall, an in-terstitial space of knowledge, acting as an elongated village living room where people stay and look out to the garden.  The outer space is a courtyard inspired by the traditional Chinese academy courtyard, a place to debate and contemplate readings in contact with nature and the elements.


At the heart of our concept is the no-tion of creating a new social space for the village, a gathering venue where people can disconnect for their dai-ly chores and embrace the poetry of reading.  The library is seen as a path, where visitors can choose a fast or slow route, choose to engage or dis-connect while always being connected to the local context.  We have kept two key conponents of the original com-plex, firstly the outer perimeter wall as a historical trace of the building’s previous life and the pitched roof steel canopy which allows courtyard spac-es to be protected from the elements.


The new inhabited wall is made with abobe bricks, a local material that al-lows the wall to act as a sustainable living membrane rather than a sealed  artificial air-conditioned space that could be anywhere in the country.  Fur-niture such as shelves, seats and ta-bles are all inbuilt into the wall and also built from indigenous sourced timber.  Rather than the building being built by a team of outside contractors we are proposing that we create simple brick making devise hwre through local par-ticipation the community could build their own bricks and a team of dedi-cated workers help erect them into the wall.  Village participation is crucial for the future success of the library.


Design Team

Prof. Peter W. Ferretto

WANG Haoran Howard

CHEUNG Kat Fu Eric

Competition Website