After four months of work, “Not Just Library” reopened on Thursday at a new location at Songshan Creative and Cultural Park, previously used as a public bathhouse.
Run by Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI), the library, designed by JC Architecture and landscape designer Wu Shu-yuan (吳書原), aims to provide a space and chill atmosphere for people to “bathe in knowledge through the company of books, sunlight, plants and scents.”
The library not only allows you to borrow books, but also provides a reading area and a venue for design-related exhibitions, lectures, and experiments that extend the “not just” design concept, according to the TDRI.
“Not Just Library” was originally a public bathhouse for women workers. The building, which has a history of more than 80 years, has been transformed into a spacious and bright reading space by a professional design team.
“It’s not just an 83-year-old bathhouse monument, not just a cultural venue,” JC Architecture said, expressing hopes readers will follow the corridor upwards, face the fragrance of books, put aside the disturbance of the outdoors, and enjoy a spiritual bath and the madness of knowledge.
這次改造分為三大區，分別是「BOOK BATH 泡書區」、「BATHHOUSE 澡堂區」、「BREATH 戶外花園」。
The renovated library is divided into three sections: “Book Bath,” “Bathhouse” and “Outdoor Garden.”
「BOOK BATH 泡書區」延伸室內澡堂意象，跳脫澡池既定跨入式座位，打造環書圍繞的下沉式閱讀區域，成為浸泡知識的書池。此區以書籍堆砌而成的階梯式座位，中島則作為書籍擺放、展覽呈現的平台，讓空間利用更加彈性。
Unlike traditional tables with spacious surfaces and work areas, the “Book Bath” area builds on the image of an indoor bathtub, retaining part of the original interior and creating a platform through which visitors descend surrounded by books. This symbolizes being immersed in knowledge, the institute said.
Maintaining interior details from the Japanese colonial period, the façade of the semi-circular bathtub, the “Bathhouse,” represents a vessel that holds different ideas and thoughts, indicating the library’s potential to develop into a diverse immersive experience in the future, the TDRI said.
The “Outdoor Garden,” formerly a patio where underground steam was released, is now an al fresco reading area where visitors can take a break and get some fresh air.
“Not Just Library” is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, and closed on Mondays and national holidays, with day-pass tickets costing NT$80 (US$2.71) and student tickets priced at NT$60.