Is it possible to reconsider cities from an architectural approach? Do we still have time to put forward cities that are not only subject to economic interests? Cities that do not turn their back on public spaces for the benefit of private spaces? Can we recover our big city life? Is it possible to go back to community life, local trade, zero KM food, spontaneity and diversity and recover streets to wander around and parks to play in? Cities belonging to everyone and for everyone?
In fact, the new Public Library in Montecarmelo is a square, an agora part of the existing public space, devoted to the neighbourhood’s social and cultural life. The Public Library is a reference centre where daily activity takes place, providing the community somewhere to meet and gain quick access to information through any of its channels.
The building, standing on the urban fabric, has permeable façades granting visual continuity and revealing all that happens inside: an invitation to enter and join unlimited activities.
The protagonist is not the architectural volume, but rather the dynamism, colour and singularity found on the inside. It is not shape that makes a city, but the humans that inhabit it. Indeed, it is a pleasant air-conditioned square, a public and safe space to re-connect with the community.
Including vegetation is a key factor when it comes to understanding new cultural public spaces. While complying with the imposed planning requirements, the covered square stretches out in an attempt to fill almost the entire plot, leaving an interior space for large patio-gardens, where the complete space focuses on them, providing a greater control over lighting and safety. A courtyard garden where anyone can go to read, revise, chat…
The library is designed as a place in-between a city and a building, a container that houses the library-square and transforms from a public space into literary space. A new ‘IN-BETWEEN’ space able to host a dynamic and fun programme that makes the library a reference where one can not only revise, but also spend time, wander, learn, work or play.
The ‘IN-BETWEEN’ space, with smooth, continuous and pleasant shapes, will house the library’s public and dynamic programmes. Conversely, stationary programmes will take place in lounges located in the ‘INSIDE’ space.
Stratification responds to flows, temperatures and the amount of time that bodies spend in places, noise, light or insulation.
A non-segregated space programme leads to a more human and inclusive architecture, in alignment with the daily needs of people living in the neighbourhood and the city.