Architect: Emilio Marín + Benjamín Murúa, Rodrigo Valenzuela
Location: Licantén, Chile
Associated Architects: Enrique Browne
Collaborating Architect: Juan Carlos Lopez
Structural Design: DEC diseño estructural
Contractor: Constructora ECSON
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Emilio Marin & Cristobal Palma
The project consists in the recuperation of an old metal shop for trains on the Curicó-Licantén railway branch, abandoned for 20 years, for its transformation into a library.
In spite of its condition of abandonment and deterioration, the metal shop has formed part of the history of Licantén, and therefore has an important meaning for the community. Through the incorporation of a new program and in keeping certain essential elements of the existing building, the proposal hopes to recover the building and give it a new meaning. In short, it intends to update its tradition.
The project is located between two main streets of the city. At this point, the first stage of the Ciro Boetto Pedestrian Walk has been built, and once the second stage is finished, the library will consolidate itself as the conclusion of the Pedestrian Walk, ultimately rounding off this end of the city’s civic axis.
Also, there is an exterior reading area on the west area of the library, where the old railway turntable used to be.
- Recovery of the main space:
It has been considered essential, as part of the recovery operation of the building, to preserve the main space of the old metal shop in addition to its exterior volume. Based on this idea, the proposal preserves the height of the space and its lighting conditions, and transforms it into the main reading room of the new library.
In order to comply with the required program, two new volumes have been added, strictly following the geometric rules of the existing volume. Both volumes, on either end of the existing one, take the height of the central volume, and are then made smaller towards the ends to reach the residential scale of the houses in the area.
In the volume closest to the center of Licantén the children’s area and common area are proposed, directly connected to an access public plaza. The office area is located on the west volume, for which a metal lattice that diffuses the afternoon light has been designed.
The idea that is addressed with the incorporation of the two new volumes is to form a new single and unified one.