Concrete Library / AGIT STUDIO

Architects: AGIT STUDIO
Area: 198 m²
Year: 2020
Photographs: KyungsubShin
Lead Architect: Jamin Seo, Geun-il Huh
Structural Engineer: IN Structure
Construction: Cheahun Construction
City: Suyeong-gu
Country: South Korea

Concrete Library, designed by AGIT STUDIO, is reached through a 30-meter dead-end alley, evoking a sense of curiosity and challenge. This project aims for a fundamental rebirth of old buildings in urban blind spots. The library and single-family house are accommodated in a 30-year-old subsiding cement brick building at the end of a narrow alley. The design applies the concept of ‘Concrete Tectonic,’ using concrete to reconstruct the existing building by enclosing it with new concrete walls, creating deep volumes and shadows. The old brick wall serves as formwork for the new concrete, with the exterior painted red to distinguish between the old and new. This renovation uses a permanent ‘concrete-wet method’ to transform the building into a structure that tells the story of its material and history.

Concrete library / agit studio

According to the architects, the library house is approached through a 30-meter dead-end alley. The existence of this narrow and long alley evokes feelings of romance and curiosity for some, and unpredictable difficulties for others. The angle of the site limits the view, so the library house and its yard are not immediately visible. As one walks along the quietly open gate, the gradual experience of unexpectedly encountering the library house feels real.

Urban regeneration, renovation, and addressing old buildings in blind spots have long been contemplated and challenged for a fundamental rebirth, rather than implementing temporary measures. These ‘old buildings in blind spots’ have remained unchanged due to existing building and parking lot laws. The new programs—a library combined with a single-family house—are accommodated under challenging conditions, including land at the end of a narrow alley, a 30-year-old cement brick building, subsiding ground, and surrounding adjacent buildings.

Concrete library / agit studio

Concrete Tectonic – Structural considerations were crucial in renewing the existing subsiding building. The project consistently applies the active use and variation of concrete properties to reveal the architectural theme. Concrete serves not only as a constructive solution for foundations and structures but also as the material for floors, finishes, interior spaces, and furniture. The project is thus represented as ‘Concrete Tectonic.’

New concrete reconstructs the 30-year-old building by enclosing it from the foundation, using the old brick masonry wall as formwork for the new concrete wall. The resulting combined wall, 600mm thick, reflects the passage of time. The gap between the old brick wall and the new concrete wall creates new spaces, such as buffers and terraces, symbolizing different eras confronting each other.

Concrete library / agit studio

The exterior of the old wall was painted red to distinguish between the old and new times. The ‘Concrete Library’ renovation project aims to approach the common ‘old cement brick buildings’ from the 60s-80s with a new perspective. Instead of the usual ‘dry method’ (steel frame reinforcement and exterior replacement) with minimal access, the project employs a permanent ‘concrete-wet method,’ making concrete the defining material for the structure, exterior, spaces, texture, and story.

Concrete library / agit studio
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Suyeong-gu, Busan, South Korea

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