Public Library and Archive Luís da Silva Ribeiro

Angra do Heroismo, Azores, PT . 2006 - 2016

Public Library and Archive Luís da Silva Ribeiro
Angra do Heroismo, Azores, PT . 2006 - 2016

The Public Library and Regional Archive of Angra do Heroísmo sit in the ancient urban fabric of the city, in an annex of the palazzo Silveira e Paulo. The palazzo and its gardens are striking elements of the city, given their singularity, position and dimension within it’s tight urban fabric.

Given the size of the programme the project tried to respond with a building that would generate, consolidate and articulate public spaces and pathways in the urban structure.
So, it isn't the programme and a quest for a given form for the building but the form of open spaces it generates that actually commanded its design.

Two corps, two voids
The new building is made of to superimposed bodys that create two outdoor spaces: to the North and to the South of the plot. The first one, “u” shaped, creating a terrace; to second, above, draws the limit of the Pallazo’s garden.

A fundamental part in the building’s design, it consolidates and creates near and far relations with the territory. A the terrain level, it’s the boundary of the contiguous public spaces, alongside pathways. To the city, it creates a reference line, above which stand the notable buildings and green spaces that surround them.
Read as a wall from the garden or as a space from the Library’s reading room, this body’s shape is unreadable as a whole, but draw clear and regular outside spaces.
The lining, a uniform and bright surface, in U-Glass and glass, gives it a clear and delicate image.

The cover stands above a concrete body wrapped around a terrace. The outside perimeter is painted white as the walls of the near surroundings and volume opens to the terrace, providing a visual relationship between all the inclosed and open spaces, public or reserved.

All the above sit on top a continuous floor, of deposits and treatment of documents, draw alongside the plot’s limits, with a service entrance to this part of the building.

Since the spatial design of the building relies on visual and physical continuity, furniture gains visibility and an important role in the functional definition of spaces. Even if the design seeks uniformity, the use of different materials, by similarity or contrast to those of the building, sets the desired standard of comfort of each space.  

Inês Lobo with João Vaz, João Rosário, Gilberto Reis, Pedro Oliveira, Júlia Varela, Sérgio Pereira, Rafael Marques, Filipe Soares, Pedro Coelho, Domingos Domingues
Structures: ADF Engenheiros Consultores;; Pedro Morujão, Rodrigo Castro
Hydraulic Installations: BETAR Engenheiros Consultores, Marta Azevedo
Electrical Installations,Telecommunication and Security:: GPIC Projectos Consultoria e Instalações; Fernando Aires, Alexandre Martins and Ruben Sobral Engenheiro
Heating, Ventilation, Building Physics, Thermic and Acoustics: NaturalWorks; Guilherme Carrilho da Graça and José Galvão Teles, engenheiros, lda
Landscape Architecture: Global Arquitectura Paisagista Lda, João Gomes da Silva
Project Revision: Rui Prata Ribeiro Lda; Rui Prata Ribeiro, Paula Balseiro
Construction Company: 1 stage: FDO Construções and Construções Couto & Couto | 2 stage: Somague Ediçor, Marques e Tecnovia Açore

Photographer: Leonardo Finotti

Secil Prize 2021 . Shortlist

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