A former 18th century tobacco factory, later a military HQ and prison, then library, has been completely redesigned by local company Taller 6A, who have added a bookshop constructed from hundreds of wooden boxes on the walls, ceiling and under the glass floor. The boxes on the ceiling and floor act as subtle sources of lighting.
The project also included the addition of a new children's library, divided into two sections to separate quiet workspaces from rooms dedicated to group activities and play. Circular bookshelves and desks are interspersed with brightly coloured furniture, and spaces open out to a pair of adjoining terraces.
The architects have summarised their approach to the modernisation of a historic building:
- reorganising the program of the different activities for a more logical and efficient operation
- recovering the character of the building by taking back the functioning of the original patios and restoring the pathways, crossing from north to south and in the perimeter, of the building
- improving the conditions of natural light and ventilation to get a better and rational use of the energy and resources available
- addressing the requirements of accessibility by using tactile guides and signals and ramps in a topography that eliminates any kind of step in the common areas
- updating the installations and equipment of the library according to the needs and uses of interconnectivity of the modern life
- all useful pointers for any library considering the approach to heritage buildings.