Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli

Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Facade, WindowsErba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - ShelvingErba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Table, Shelving, ChairErba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Image 5 of 22Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - More Images+ 17

Erba, Italy

Text description provided by the architects. The architecture of this new library strives to relate to its unique context. Its  urban location sits between the industrial and tertiary residential and new construction that reconfigures the urban fabric. For this reason, the project coordinates and introduces an element of clarity settlement. This goal is pursued through the creation of a basement wall that it intends to mend the street frontage, while simultaneously highlighting, through a large porch access, the entry of new public space.

Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Shelving, Chair
© Filippo Simonetti

Outside the new building, the intent is that you can sense the activity that takes place. The repertoire of the materials proposed will satisfy the essential construction of choice by reinforcing the homogeneity of the various architectural elements of the composition. A wooden box which refers, even in materials, the typical container for books is a library designed by wooden shelves in this case it becomes a building.


The volume and the walls of the ground floor are exposed concrete. This was chosen for its homogeneity and absolute uniformity. A full and compact basic rhythmic expansion joints from non-random but related to the whole geometry of the facade. The first floor of the building is illuminated on the street, facing north, so the best approach for a reading area, through full height glazing with safety glass, laminated and framed in such isolated and wooden draw and scores punctuate the facade. 

Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Windows, Facade
© Filippo Simonetti

The short sides are fully buffered, while the area of relevance to the border with industrial buildings and next to an enclosed garden, the front is crossed by a long, thin cut glass. Natural lighting is provided on the ground floor facing the road from the end of the wooden body of the windows on the side of the garden by some vertical windows, while on the eastern side by a long horizontal cut, which occupies the entire size of this side of the building.

Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Image 8 of 22
© Filippo Simonetti

The interior is designed by the essentiality of finishing materials and their homogeneity. The flooring of the ground floor and basement are resolved with a surface treated concrete protected from cuts in structural joints designed following an order referred to the alignment of the vertical structure. The staircase connecting the first floor and the entire first floor will have a wooden floor for those who want the perception of this space to have a more intimate feel of its own, a place to read, study and reflection and in particular that should characterize the atmosphere of a library on open shelves.

Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli - Facade
© Filippo Simonetti

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Project location

Address:Via Joriati, 2-16, 22036 Erba Como, Italy

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Erba Municipal Library / Studio Ortalli" 02 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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