The main decision was to build the new building below the old existing garden and not take a part of this space. The motto with which we presented the project to the competition of ideas was “Garden of Light”. These two words sum up the two ideas of the project: to maintain and improve the existing garden, and at the same time get cheerful and well-lit spaces.
The library is inserted under the garden of Florida Villa, in the shade of its trees. Inside, a landscape in itself, articulated and changing, where each use and each user find their place. It is a personalized and unique space.
The building will particularly relate to Sant Gervasi de Cassoles street. The gap between the garden and Sant Gervasi street allow a natural access to the new facility. On the other hand, the green roof will be at the same level as the old garden, so the construction of the new facility will mean the restoration of the garden from the civic center in its maximum dimension, where Florida Villa is always the building that presides the whole ensemble.
The building is formed by the “light and silence courtyards” and “books and knowledge courtyards.” The first, surrounded by glass, light and ventilate the interior while isolating the library from the street. The second, solid prisms filled with books, are part of the supporting structure of the library.
Among the courtyards and the volumes, interior spaces for reading and work are articulated. These are spaces that should be small and seeking to give a comfortable feeling of domesticity to users.
The interior is designed simply with few textures; ceiling, floor, furniture and walls in general are white, while the walls that conceal the retaining concrete walls and building structures are covered with clay tiles. This porous material, warm and sound absorbent, is a reminder that this is a semi-buried building dug into the ground.
To link the library with the upper garden, two volumes project. One of them is a space for library support with direct access from the lobby, located in a privileged area. The other is a skylight in the playground.
The existing garden extends through the roof of the new library, up to the same road Sant Gervasi de Cassoles, from which arises a new access to the gardens next to the entrance to the main lobby of the Library. The original trees of the old garden have been replanted on the roof of the new library.
(BCQ arquitectura barcelona)
Biblioteca Sant Gervasi – Joan Maragall
Joan Maragall Library / BCQ Arquitectura
Joan Maragall Library: Barcelona, Spain
Joan Maragall Library
Nomination EU Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award2015
Winner Ciutat de Barcelona Award Architecture and Urbanism2014
Winner Catalunya Construcció Award Site Supervision2015
Jury Mention in Beyond Building Barcelona Construmat Awards2015
Finalist Architizer A+ Awards in Libraries category2015
Finalist Systematic Public Library of the Year Award2015
New Project Data
BCQ arquitectura barcelona -
Exhibition room. 2 seminar rooms.
2 patios and 1 exterior terrace.