HK's 2nd biggest library opens in Tin Shui Wai

HK$500 million government facility houses 300,000 books in English and Chinese

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 4:34am

The city's second largest library will open on Thursday in a new town of the New Territories.

The Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library will house about 300,000 books and other collections in both Chinese and English over 6,100 square metres of floor space, according to Ewon Shum, senior librarian of Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

"We wanted to build a large library in Tin Shui Wai," she said. The HK$500 million government project would be serving mainly the Yuen Long District which has a population of about 580,000.

The projects' architects said the building was designed to fit the rural area through the use of natural materials and a design that resonated with the village community.

According to Thomas Wan, the Architectural Services Department senior architect who is responsible for the project, the design of the eight-storey building was based on a Chinese-style cabinet.

By relying on bricks, timber and stone, the architects wanted the building to blend with the other abundant heritage sites in the areas, such as the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda and the Tang Ancestral Hall.

Edward Wong, another architect with the department, said: "We would like to imitate the images of vernacular architecture buildings of the old village surrounding it."

When asked whether authorities took too long to build a public library in the new town, which was established 20 years ago, Wong said the project obtained funding only in 2007. The idea had been raised however, much earlier with the defunct Regional Council.

He said proper procedures had to be followed before a vision for a building could materalise.

Readers can bring their reading materials to one of the outdoor areas attached to the building.

The library, which is the 78th public library in the city, is second in size only to the Central Library in Causeway Bay.