A LIBRARY UNDER A GARDEN.
Sant Gervasi – Galvany neighborhood rehabilitates the old urban property Muñoz Ramonet as a new meeting point for neighbours in this district: The Peripatêticus Library. A library under a garden. It’s a new space that has an entrance in Avenir Street and which is going to be transformed in the main square of the cultures: a new temple of knowledge, where people will learn among trees.
The rehabilitation of this urban property is for the city the culmination of a project wherein the district maintains its own gardens, which are going to be transformed in a small park surrounded by public services. The new library is going to be a meeting point for neighbours and a potential center of knowledge. In order to maintain the majestic image of the historical ensemble and the gardens, it has been proposed to build most part of the library below ground, which means, buried. Nevertheless, though it`s a covered place, it has an easy access. The main objective of this rehabilitation is to transform this inner space in an outdoor landscape.
This urban property, which has now an entrance in Muntaner Street, is going to be reorientated and a new door is going to be opened in the quiet Avenir Street. The purpose is to recover the old access path to the property and to set up a new meeting point as a square, which is going to be the new access to the library and also to the public gardens.
The main space in the library is conceived as a whole unit, under a rounded cover which has the outdoor garden on it. Giving maximum transparency to the façade, the light enters this space through Avenir Street, and dilutes the limits between interior and exterior areas, reaching the ideal atmosphere of an interior garden. This interior space recreates the gardens in the cover and reinforces the idea of reading among trees, of learning as you walk.
The library is a multifunctional and open space. This configuration allows the change of moving furniture. The area for children is projected as a loft with a door access in the lobby. The loft will have visual continuous characteristics to the interior garden, and is going to be an informal consulting room.
The architecture of the building strictly protects the interior spaces and therefore maintains the functions corresponding to minor spaces and fits perfectly to the initial configuration of the building.
The new library in Sant Gervasi – Galvany aims to invite the users to learn while walking (from Greek peripatêin). They’re going to be transported from the hustle and bustle in the street to the quietness of the gardens, in a continuous alternation between interior and exterior spaces, accompanied always by a landscape which forms part of the experience.
The interior garden of the library, parallel to Avenir Street and opened to the loft for children, has been projected as a literary gathering space, like a courtyard-greenhouse, where plants and books live together.
In order to reach the optimum conservation of the books, humidity and sun radiation requirements have been thoroughly taken into consideration. The selected plants are trees, bushes and plants with low maintenance requirements and scarce water needs. They are common species in urban property gardens and they don’t represent a distraction but a sensation of freshness and continuous accompaniment. Three species corresponding to three different heights are combined. The lowest species is the Acanthus mollis, the middle one is the Monstera deliciosa and the highest species is Ficus elástica. The combination of these three species results in an interesting volumetric design.
The exterior garden has been projected as an historical file of trees; a new garden where the main characters are recovered and transplanted trees, the column room and the existing sheet of water. A new pavement based on pre-manufactured concrete slabs organizes the space and generates new roads. A new and unique vegetation invades the space: magnolia grandi ora, in a pyramidal shape, mixed in with other species in the garden : Brachichiton populenum, Cupressus semprevirens, Celtis australis, Magnolia Grandi ora, Ulmus sp, Cercis siliquastrum y Livinstonia chinensis. The sheet of water is used for water lilies. A part of the garden is full of arboreal species of all the world, similarly to the library, which collects international literary works. This is the way the user becomes aware of the theme of the public equipment, both inside and outside of the building. Everything forms part of an ensemble, open to the citizen, the knowledge and the nature.
Sant Gervasi Galvany Library BIM/SA competition - Quality Mention