Public library

The new public library is from the urban point of view an opportunity to highlight two of the most important historical buildings of the city center and take ownership of the southern part of the church complex of the Cathedral of Bressanone, reabsorbing the last courtyard as an essential element of space consequentiality.

The construction of a new building is considered an optimal completion of the existing building fabric to finish the series of courts and buildings of the complex. The project is located on the crossroads of two important axiality: Piazza Duomo and Via Bruno that link Palazzo Vescovile with Kassianeum and is also an opportunity to relate the northern part of the city center with the southern zone.

The library is designed as a Civic Culture Centre, focusing pole of the cultural events of the city and imagined as an “open” place, as an “urban interior” inspired to the courts of the Duomo complex, continuamento the arcades of Major and opening to the south of the cathedral complex, meeting point of the center flows.

The proposal for the new building is inspired by the architectural style of Alto Adige; it aim to absorb the “genius loci” of the place that permeates the local architecture characterized by its sloped roof, the local materials and decorative motifs and at the same time it revises the concept of the library as a “house of books”.

Combining these inspirations with the will to propose a simple intervention, measured, that has a low impact on the envitonment without wasting public money but on the contrary it aim to impose itself as an example of concreteness, feasibility and economic efficiency. The reached result is an “elementary architecture that blend with the surroundings landscape reinterpreting it.

The volumes allocated to the arrangement of the books is concentrated in a single volume which becomes the “heart” of the library. Around this volume is built the building that echoes its shape and becomes the shell of closure and protection. Such transparent envelope undergoes two formal operations: first it is wrapped in an opaque shell that protects the collection of books by solar radiation and moderates the indoor luminosity; secondly it is shifted up to approach the Court buildings and the ex-station.

The opaque shell is suspended above the ground by the side of the court facing the ex-station on Via Bruno, in this way the interior of the library is made visible from one of the main accesses.
On the exterior shell are set river stones mixed with porthole – skylights in order to give a reference to the Bressanone typical construction tradition, still visible on the perimeter wall of the courtyard in Via Bruno.

Location / Bressanone | Italy

Year / 2011

Client / Bressanone Municipality

Stage / design competition entry

Lot area / 2.400 sqm

Team di Progetto

Design Team / OBICUA as BICUADRO architects

Image credits / ©BICUADRO @OBICUA