Antonio Gala Public Library

Photos by Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda

The library, located opposite the Town Hall, was designed as a compact, concrete block, seven metres high, resting on its rear wall; it overlooks the front garden and the Town Hall building.
The interior comprises a single space subdivided into two rooms placed one above the other. Though similar in layout, they offer a marked contrast in volume: while the ground-floor space is of double height, thus conveying the impression of a large entrance hall, the upper floor has a more private feeling, its height being compressed to force a horizontal view of the garden.
This division is achieved by means of an L-shaped wooden block which supports the staircase and conceals the necessary amenities.
A striking feature of its functional nature is the removal of all distinction between served spaces and servant; both floors are designed as open-plan spaces, where various uses (reception, reading areas, shelves, aisles) are blended together—liberated—in a single dynamic space.

López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda

The most remarkable element is the façade, a frontage that elegantly combines to address all the determining requirements. The design echoes two images drawn from memory (the existing modular bookstands and a set of stacked manholes on a nearby building site), which have been scaled up to the size and resistance of the precast concrete frames manufactured in a neighbouring village. This gives rise to a thick, alternating blind-open façade which shapes views while catering to functional needs. In doing so, it covers at a stroke the requirements of the project as a whole: a load-bearing façade which houses bookshelves, affords protection from sunlight, projects the view towards the garden, and in general achieves a qualitative impact prompted by something more than a skin-deep frontage.

López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda

López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
Fernando Alda
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
López + Rudolf
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
López + Rudolf
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
López + Rudolf
López + Rudolf, Fernando Alda · Antonio Gala Public Library
López + Rudolf
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