Thursday, April 27, 2006



The planning choice moves from the need to create an architecture that participates of the urban configuration of the site, without being mediate from signs that upsetting the sober and homogeneous character of the "Plan maestro" of the cultural center.

The presence of the North peripheral ring in the immediate proximity of the library, and the reduced possibility to move back regarding to the Periferica Norte and to the plaza behind it, is an invitation to realize an "architecture with a relatively flat façade".

The North front in fact (despite representing an official and institutional architecture of "public building"),wants to excite and to arouse interest in the inhabitants through the sunken and overhanging façades, enriched by the cut of the gallery on the central atrium, that form a sort of ship's keel that split the two parts of the building.

The sunken atrium marks the principal access to the building; conceived as a dark box, it identificate a sort of tunnel in which the visitors starts an initiatory path toward to knowledge and culture.

During the various phases of designing process we never forget what had to represent this Library: a building destined to everybody, a building as "social symbol".

The entrace hall (characterized by two side pedestrian ramps) , lay on a sort of platform overhang in to the perimeter that delimits the area of the building.

Below this platform (overhead by 1,5 mt from the ground level) were placed the road ramps that bring to the level -1 with 180 parking places for the visitors.

The principal façade is articulated in three parts that underline, in the low zone, the dominion of a basement; in the middle zone by a terrace, and in the upper part by a roof-ridge that joint with an horizontal line the two parts of the library.

- The basement, 11,5 mt. high, concerns the first two levels; it marks the entrance hall, where the visitors flow is greater. This basement expresses the solidity, and on the other side it come up to the different activities that develop on the south side (toward the plaza).

This basement also includes a tall clog 1,5 mt high which supports the whole building and the glass side-drift that connected the Ciudad de Los Ninos and the Complejo de Cines and Locales Comerciales.

For this side-drift we choose a different architectural language regardig to the rest of the building, to mark the separation among the "cultural" surroundings of the library and the playful and entertainment atmosphere of the Ciudad de Los Ninos and of the Complejo de Cines and Locales Comerciales.

They are constituted by steel pipes (Ø180 mm.) and bent glass; they tighten him in the median zone. (you see Reference Index 03)

- The central part of the building is characterized by a system of terraces in which the readers can stop for reading on the outside.

- The frame, form a third register to be respected tall and visible from far. He/she understands on the south side the room of reading of the Hemeroteca, a Belvedere that with his/her panoramic points of view they embrace the landscape of the great plaza; the building becomes as the air free".

The initial idea to cover the atrium with a glass cieling that caved in under his weight (abandoned for problems of waterproofing to the atmospheric agents) it has suggested the final form of the structure of coverage glass, with a series of overmeasure beams that increase their section approacing to the center-line of the principal carrying beam.

Planning a Library is a difficult exercise since all the buildings of this type mark deeply and durably the imaginary of its utilizzators!

Not only a functional building but also a poetic building.

A building in which "ground floor" belongs to the city; the spaces devoted to the various collections of the library are a great box detached by the ground through “pilotis” that fix a polifunctional space (a great porch).

The Library is conceived as a building open to the public, a place of standstill among the long pedestrian axle that extends from Metropolitan Auditorium to the central Plaza of the Cultural Complex.

"The project is not only a beautiful object but a true spatial path": a place to discovered by different stages.

The south front is enriched in the low part by an elliptical "massive" volume, that contains in the low plan the access to the auditorium and the theater of the library; in the upper plan there is a great panoramic terrace

whit glass walls.

The upper part of the south front is characterized with a glass facade with sun-blind that contains photovoltaic panels that will assure part of the electrical need. (You see Reference Index 02 & 03)

This system will optimize the requirement of solar light in the winter and the protection from the sun rays during the summer and provide a continuous natural illumination that will reduce the requirement of energy for the city and release of CO2, improving the quality of life of Guadalajara and contributing to the creation of a model of sustainable urban development.

The morphology of the building, his structure and his technological systems provide a building with characteristics of energetic efficiency, less release of CO2 and a functional layout in a, in our opinion, interesting contemporary architectural appearence.

The functional layout privileges a vertical comprension of the building (you see Reference Index 01) characterized by a distributive central nucleus of staircases and elevators that through gangways and always visible galleries from the main entrance connects the various departments of the Library.

The Special Collects department has been deliberately positioned on the upper floor, with the indexing ambient that are contained by a punctured thin ribbon windows façade that allow to the natural light to penetrate through the building in gradual way without deteriorating the books.

The elliptic glass-wrap on the first floor includes, as a soft skin, a reading room for the young people, constituted by single seat along the whole glass perimeter of the ellipse (you see Reference Index 03).

There is also a panoramic terrace available by the public of the theater.

For the structural wire we decided to follow the indications in the program that suggest a 1,70 mt module. This module multiplied by five give an 8,5 mt distance among the carrying pillars that allowed a rational distribution of the various ambient.

The diameter of the pilotises varies, not only for structural reasons but also for expressive reasons whereas these pilotises cover more than a plan, and in the more "representative" zones of the building.

For the localization of the reading-rooms we consider the proximity of the vehicular movement road (Peripheral Norte) with the relative problems of acoustic pollution; this leaded us to place the reading-rooms in the south front of the building using the shelves and the relatives volumes as "acoustic insulating" . For the reading-rooms for small groups, placed foreseen on the North front we used an heavy acoustic insulating. Our goal is to design a relatively introverted building, with clear volumes, well drawn, in which the destination is easily perceivable; a place devoted to knowledge where can be discovered the invariant of the architecture: the full and void, the opaque and the transparency.

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