Meda Teca by Alterstudio Partners

The construction of a new library has provided the opportunity to recover an ugly building, owned by the municipality and left unfinished since the Eighties, while also radically rethinking the library services themselves. Thus the new library truly becomes a significant social catalyst for the city and its community life. Although subject to severe constraints (the structure first and foremost), the project rethinks the container as made for the content, modifying façades, volumes, morphological and material characteristics to achieve an expressive architecture capable of communicating the new public mission of the building. Everything combines to define the function of a new ‘urban condenser': the design, materials and colours of the façades; its wide windows overlooking the street, behind which the spiral stairs wind sculpturally, connecting the floors. As all floors have a small surface area, five levels were needed to develop the structure: to make up for this unfortunate internal articulation and to invite users to explore the whole building, each floor overlooks the adjacent ones and there are double height spaces with overhead lighting. The entrance area (what’s new, music and performing arts, topical issues) is located on ground floor and the first underground level; the first floor hosts the children’s section; open-shelf areas and reading spaces occupy the second and third floor; at the second underground level there is a conference and party hall and a warehouse. The building is completed by an equipped study room on the first underground floor (with a view of the gardens) and a panoramic reading terrace.

Photo credits: Alterstudio Partners

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