Serero Architects’ winning design for a library and auditorium for the University of Amiens incorporates a wooden “smart skin” that controls the internal space ambiance and frames views. Resting in the middle of the campus, the new building will “constitute a central place for exchanges and meeting around technologies as well as the catalyst of an intense campus social life” explained the architect.
Both the library and auditorium are at the same level as the central garden, and the auditorium’s sloped floor follows the natural landscape of the site. A reception hall ties these two volumes together and acts a transition space from the lower level of the site to the garden.
The architectural and technical devices (lighting system, ventilation, furniture, façade) are placed on a regular grid of 1.80m x 7.20m, helping the library offer a more opened and flexible interior space. Therefore, the building manages a gradual transition of spaces from the reception hall, for groups and meetings to more individual spaces dedicated to silence and high concentration.
The design is centered around responding to the sun in an effort to supply the most comfortable interior environment. The wooden facade, inspired by a pine cone, is comprised of wooden scales that open or close according to the level of humidity in the air. The full height glass curtain wall is protected by wooden sun-shading, and the angle of the vertical shade changes according to the orientation of the spaces. “This system allows a gradual transition from protected zones to opened and transparent zones,” added the architects. The auditorium’s glass can also be shut by motorized sun shields integrated to the ceiling.
Competition First Prize Winner