Kinmen, an island that is closer to Fujian, China than Taiwan, with its special geographical location and rich geological textures, has emerged from its tumultuous history with pride. Today, well preserved villages in the traditional style of southern Fujian, sprinkled with western mansions built by wealthy emigrants, and cold war battlefield relics coexist harmoniously, accumulating in distinctive architectural and cultural layers.

Sponsored by the Kinmen County Government, the building program for the library and art museum will encompass 13,200 m2, and anchor a proposed arts and cultural special district. Groundbreaking for the project is planned for late 2023 with completion expected by the fourth quarter of 2026. The two-stage design competition attracted 27 international and domestic teams in the first round, of which 5 teams were selected as finalists.

According to the jury, the winning team led by JJP demonstrated a profound knowledge of the site and Kinmen as a whole, while expressed exuberant enthusiasm and creativity in the design. The jury was particularly impressed by the proposal’s response to the unique terrain of the site, and its emphasis on sustainable ecological design and a respectful attitude towards the land.

With a close reading of the landscape as the starting point for the design, the hill-like volumes emerges in conformity with the valley typography, and is shrouded by a veil of terra cotta panels. Taking inspiration from the work of local artist Lee Shi-Chi, the project integrates the building within an art park setting, creates a system of interwoven circulation paths, and incorporates the use of regional materials and colors, all of which results in a unique architectural typology that will become the defining cultural landmark of Kinmen.