Papyrus had been the most common writing support and raw material for books, since 3.000 b.c for more than 2.000 years, before the paper took over . The English word paper originally came from the Latin word "Papyrus" (latin papýrus and greek pàpyros). Very similar words like papier, used in French, Dutch, German, Polish languages or papel for Spanish and Portuguese, papir in bohemian and papirije in Slavic, are terms used to indicate writing paper. As a consequence of the machine language and informatics based on the binary code born during the last century, the book began to lose its thousands-year-old material characteristic and evolved towards the use of different supports from paper.
The project aims to symbolize the connection between the past and the present of the book, through the Papyrus plant and the binary code, composed by a photovoltaic cell on a glass facade, projecting the building library to a sustainable technologic future.
The library is presented as a symbolic building whose purpose is to inspire new generations to the sense of the book and the material it’s made of, through a six-stories distribution lobby (solar greenhouse) facing the park and the surrounding buildings as well. The overlap between natural signs (papyrus) and artificial signs (photovoltaic cell) opens the way to a possible future where, in the year 3000, new technologic ideograms will be able to produce natural energy.
The library building is conceived as an open place which contributes to create the stratification among culture and knowledge, city and park, graphic symbol and technology.
The backslide of the front facing the park and the release of the north-south sides is functional to free clear up the distribution space of the different levels and to create a connection with the park and the urban context, while, on the east front, the building closes itself leaving open sights and views to the city in the north-south corners.
Internal distribution system connects the different levels of the buildings through tapis roulant.
The aim of the project is to show the greenhouse-library as a meeting place among citizens, landscape and technology, a contemporary "agora’", in which it’s possible to live an experience developed on different visiting times.
THE LIBRARY -
The access to the library is solved by a distribution space developed on six levels. The project proposes a vertical greenhouse enriched by papyrus plants which ensures a visual continuity with the city and offers, throughout the year, a comfortable temperature close to the average temperature of the Mediterranean climate.
A slow visiting time offers to the library guest the possibility of moving in a greenhouse with the Mediterranean climate. Papirus plants, located inside water bath, delineate an indoor corridor of distribution giving rise to the main hall ornament throughout its six levels.
Restaurant, cafeteria, bookshop, cinema (on two levels), sauna and info-point, are located at the ground floor while exposition rooms, laboratories and offices are located at the first floor, easily reachable by tapis roulant, with the purpose of creating continuity between the exterior public space and the inside private space. The next levels (second, third and forth) are dedicated to the library services and space for children. The fifth floor, distributed on a central space facing the east and west front of the city, holds activities connected to radio and tv. A roof with heated floor collects water to provide for papyrus and inside garden.
Great attention is given to the greenhouse, which fulfils the role of social relation space of the library and furthermore contributes to the energetic efficiency of the building. The vertical greenhouse connects the building with the facing park providing over 3500 square meter of public space developed on six levels open to visitors. The path starts from the ground level with more than 1000 square meter of floor area, continues throughout the several levels offering various sights and different point of views of the urban landmark and finally ends at the fifth floor, with a public square of about 800 square meters surrounded by the city landscape.