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Growing the tree of knowledge at Singapore Management University’s Li Ka Shing Library

Li Ka Shing Library, part of Singapore Management University has been given a new face courtesy of THERE and collaborators, Hassell.

Growing the tree of knowledge at Singapore Management University’s Li Ka Shing Library


September 24th, 2015

Surrounding the library is Campus Green, a park landscape that features a 70-year-old bodhi tree, onto which the Li Ka Shing Library looks onto. Hassell’s design of the new library amplifies this engagement with the natural surroundings, as the multinational design firm took inspiration form the idea of the ‘tree of knowledge’.


A non-literal representation of nature was what drove THERE’s design philosophy for the library graphics. The resulting design draws a direct inspiration from the imposing bodhi tree and its distinct natural forms that change through roots, trunk, branches and canopy. The graphics of Li Ka Shing Library metaphorically capture this change over its four floors.

“THERE have created a contemporary, refreshing and distinct look for the Library that compliments the SMU brand and strengthens the interior design concept,” says Gulcin Cribb, University Librarian. “University When giving tours, we are able to tell a story of how the design of the library is connected with the surrounding Campus Green. Visually pleasing, THERE’s solution enhances the library experience for students, faculty, and staff.”

The result for Li Ka Shing Library is a contemporary, minimalistic solution that provides a unique identity and distinct sense of place that connects with the student audience, staff and visitors alike.








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