The Cultural Affairs Bureau held a press conference about the “Preparation of the New Macao Central Library Project” on Saturday, 17 November, at 3pm, at the Old Court Building, introducing the tendering process of the library design and planning and the winning design proposal to the public. The press conference was attended by several members of the Committee of Proposal Evaluation, including representatives of local public departments, library professionals and architects from home and abroad, and representatives of the winning company.
The President of the Committee of Proposal Evaluation and the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man, stated that in response to the needs of urban development and the diversification of reading demands, the New Macao Central Library would become a cultural landmark, featuring several functional areas for cultural exchange, urban hall, exhibition, artistic creation and leisure, among others. It not only serves as a public exchange centre that strengthens community bonds but also a base for cultivating a reading culture, promoting the development of a smart city and building a learning society.
The Head of the Department of Public Library Management of the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the member of the Committee of Proposal Evaluation, Tang Mei Lin, added that the Committee, following the principles of fairness, impartiality, openness and transparency, selected the appropriate design through an open tender. The Committee of Proposal Evaluation selected the design company based upon the criteria stipulated in the open tender document. The evaluation of the proposals was carried out at the end of September. After three days of evaluation work, the proposal of the company MAA Marreiros Architectural Atelier Limited that obtained the highest score was selected, with a tender price of MOP18.68 million and design period of 268 days.
In the press conference, the representatives of the “MAA Marreiros Architectural Atelier Limited” introduced their design proposal and concept, meeting the requirements of the urban conditional plan.
According to the requirements of the Cultural Affairs Bureau in this open tender, the New Macao Central Library will be established in the area currently occupied by the Old Court Building and the Former Judiciary Police Building in the city centre of Macao. The new building will feature a total of 11 floors, including the new floors and basement, divided into three sections, namely a section for library collection, a public section and a technical support section. Given that the Old Court Building is classified as a building of architectural interest, the Cultural Affairs Bureau will protect it in strict accordance with the provisions of the Cultural Heritage Protection Law. The Old Court Building will completely retain all the architectural elements and features which contribute to the Old Court Building’s unique architectural style and cultural value, including its façade, rooftop, structure, floor slabs and distinctive internal spaces, among others. The new building, which will not exceed an altitude of 53 metres above sea level in its maximum height, comprises architectural spaces and elements that pursue aesthetic ideals and enhancements in architecture and urban design while preserving the existing features, thus serving as a good example of the organic integration and harmonious dialogue between historic and modern architecture.
The tender notice of the “Preparation of the New Macao Central Library Project” was published on 1 March 2018 and the tenders were opened on 10 July 2018. A total of nine tenders were received and accepted by the tender opening committee, with the tender price ranging from MOP9.8 million to MOP43 million and the service period from 210 days to 320 days. The Committee of Proposal Evaluation of the “Preparation of the New Macao Central Library Project” consists of nine members, including the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man; the Head of the Department of Public Library Management of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Tang Mei Lin; the Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Wong Iat Cheong; the Librarian of the University of Macau Library, Wu Jianzhong; the Director of Guangzhou Library, Fang Jiazhong; the Professor of the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong, Wang Wei Jen; the architect from Mainland China, Han Wenqiang; the architect from Singapore, Tan Kay Ngee; and the Senior Technician of the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau, Choi Ieng Va.