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2013. setubal municipal library. portugal

Carmen Espegel, Concha Fisac

TEAM MEMBERS: Ana Amo, Laura Cañizares, Joao Mascarenhas Mateus (engineer)

It is proposed a hybrid character building between natural and artificial landscape. The plot is no longer understood as a surface on which the building stands. It becomes a place where the library is threaten through the trees and levitates over the territory. A single volume manifested as the main reference of the plaza without competing with the José Afonso Theater or other edifications of the Plaza because it keeps in the backline, almost a horizontal frame, that highlights the other existing architecture.

That figure of a single bay, easily repeated, covers the Plaza and accommodates through the obstacles encountered, pointing out places with sharp clarity and recognizable image. The library building height is limited but has a very scenic presence along all sides of the plaza. In its integration with the natural and urban environment the building rises above the ground creating shaded places under its shell increasing the usability of this new public space, covered but exterior.

The transparent and diaphanous library looks for the comfort through the furniture, fabrics and large draperies. Velvet and silk are installed on the facades but also serve to create opportunities for more focused reading or meeting rooms, and they are projected as another layer over the complex façade that with the vinyl enables the outdoor and indoor access control.