Architects: RSP arquitectos
Location: Calle Comuneros de Castilla 30, Carabanchel, Madrid, Spain
Project Directors (Design & Construction): Alberto Arias Horas, Ana Maroto de Hoyos, JA Arias Horas
Design Team: JA Arias Horas, Ana Maroto de Hoyos, Alberto Arias Horas
Collaborators: Rene Cañada González, Inés Idzikowski Pérez, Laura Cuesta Hernández
Area: 3500.0 sqm
Photographs: Alfredo Arias
Client: Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Área de las Artes
Structure: IDEEE. Jorge Conde
Budget Manager: HC y asociados. Juan Carlos Corona, David Gil
The library is built in a wonderful plot in a inner limit of the city, on the cornice formed by the graveyards of San Isidro and Sta. María close to the Manzanares river. The plot has a steep slope north oriented without building obstruction in this direction, so we have a wonderful view of Madrid’s skyline from the historic centre to the mountains.
The place is who is taking the master decisions about geometry and how is open and is connected to the exterior. This is a functional building, transparent, the library activity is seen from the street and the readers can take part of the city. It has a short material palette and shows directly how everything is built, facilities tracing is always seen. The romantic idea of the library is represented by the main reading room wide open to the landscape.
Volume gets from a cast process from a massive element created from the plot and urban regulations. Three main cuts create the functional and structural scheme of the building and delimit the inner court. Each cut create a structural plane, those that need to be transparent (glass) the wall structure is replaced by a steel truss . Remaining volume is removed making terraces following terrain slope. Second operation cuts horizontally the building, a great concrete basement emerge from the terrain and a big metallic box over it (the reading room)
Inner urban limit on the border of the Carabanchel district. Close to the Manzanares river and slightly high, is close to the historic graveyards of San Isidro and Sta María on a 1600 sqm plot, steep slope (12m) oriented north. Road access is only possible from the bottom part. Pedestrian access from the district is in the top, close to the district centre and most of the local population. Local regulations arrange and create limits to the possible solid of the library.
Library typology is strictly defined by the Ayuntamiento de Madrid (Town Council): Functional programme for a 2,500sqm library, tested in many libraries of the city. Design principles: flexibility, open spaces, views inside-outside, and adjustment to the functional programme.
Building and structure are merged so it´s not possible to detach one from another. Structure as a expressive element of the building, it shows how works literally. Structure doesn’t only represents efficiency and economy values: is architecture in itself. Facilities are shown inside the library, showing a naked building and providing a low-cost maintenance.
Inside we use a short and industrial material palette: concrete, glass, metal and bamboo wood as a warm counterpoint.