Text description provided by the architects. The antithesis is strong and the metaphor becomes obvious when one realizes that the Sao Paulo Library, once a prison, is now a place of freedom to explore knowledge, ideas, and books.
The old Carandiru penitentiary complex in Sao Paulo has changed its face becoming the new Youth Park. Within the park, the Library is bringing people from every corner of the city to take advantage of the new entertainment and cultural experience.
The building interior is spacious with zenithal illumination, assuring great flexibility in the layout. Spaced every 10 meters, 20 columns and 10 beams compose the structure. The furniture adds fun and colorful tones and playful graphics were added to the glass partitions to give needed privacy to those who will read or research. The library is organized as a bookstore, aiming to attract a non-reader public as well. The idea is that this project can be replied in other cities.
The layout of the building begins with the ground floor, which is composed of a reception area, a small auditorium, and reading modules for children and teenagers. The existing terrace was covered by tensor structure, giving the impression of “nautical tents”. These “tents” connect to the cafeteria and cover the seating area and performance spaces.
In the upper floor we find another quantity space, several reading spaces and multimedia areas. On this floor specialized furniture can be found for differently-abled people including: tables ergonomically designed for visually and physically impaired visitors. In accordance with ADA regulations, the building has tactile floors, Braille inscriptions, as well as adequate ramps. The upper level has terraces in the east and west facades. For increased privacy, they were covered with pergolas made with eucalyptus and polycarbonate, assuring a pleasant space for a living room and live performances. Pre-molded panels, with texturized finishing, compose the remaining facades.
More than being a beautiful and distinct building, this new institution has the mission to be the central of 961 libraries in the state of Sao Paulo, spread over 602 municipalities.