St. Martin Library Competition Entry / AZPA

  • 09 Dec 2012
  • by
  • mini Museums and Libraries
Courtesy of

The main aim of AZPA in their design for the New Library of St. Martin in was to create an envelope that is not only functional but also representative of the local and global contents of a cultural institution found in a library. This design would have the architectural potential to transcend the specificities of the place to reach a global character. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of AZPA

For this reason we chose from the beginning a kind of classic pitched roof, as an archetype of rural and regional architecture, for the facades a geometrical structural pattern recognizable in the alpine local architecture. While the geometry and the material of the building with proportions and scale similar to the rest of the buildings of St. Martin claims to integrate the buildings in the context, the main facades (west and east) are conceived as more sophisticated elements to protect from solar radiation and at the same time allow the view from inside, but basically to be able to Transmit the singularity of the institution in the local context and also to reflect the functional and programmatic evolution of the Library building.

Courtesy of AZPA

Construction and Building Envelope

The basement of the building is a reinforced concrete structure with load-bearing walls and columns inside the perimeter. In the upper part of these walls and pillars will be fixed the laminated wood which conform the structure of the main facades. The floors of the basement and the ground floor will be concrete. The concrete structure is proposed in relation to fire safety standards for technical rooms, warehouse and archive. Because of the significant presence in the alpine zone of the building system “timbered”, the above-ground structure is designed entirely by laminated wood.

Courtesy of AZPA

Between the two structural facades are disposed laminated wooden beams of 12m free light, with a wheelbase of 3.30 m. The floor is completed with the placement of prefabricated panels of laminated 3.30 x12m. The structure thus made has a high static efficiency, so it allows to have floor plans completely clear of structural elements, turning it into totally flexible space and easily adaptable to future changes.

Courtesy of AZPA

In the east and west facades, behind the wooden structural frame, the volume closes with an high performances curtain wall of glass to achieve an optimal heat transfer coefficient. In the inner layer of the insulation chamber of the glass is proposed a vertical plot of ceramic “frit”, like a vertical screen printing, with the aim of obtaining a better protection from direct solar radiation without losing the possibility of sights to the beautiful mountain landscape.

site plan

The sum of the blind wood facades with ecological insulation, the local wood structure, the facades with ceramic frit glass to avoid overheating of the interior spaces, the use of renewable energy sources (biomass and geothermal) and an efficient design of active systems allows us to approximate already in the competition phase the highest standards of sustainable architecture.

Architects: AZPA
Location: Passiria, Italy
AZPA Team: Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Ravi Lopes Calamita, Pep Wennberg, Robert Berenguer
Local Partner: Renzo Boschetti
Area: 700m2
Cost: 2M €
Competition Year: 2012

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "St. Martin Library Competition Entry / AZPA" 09 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>