Italy - France- Europe

The new Legnano library center

Legnano, Italy

The idea behind the building is inspired by that of a palace with a patio which is outlined in contemporary forms through an “osmotic” relationship principle between the park and the architecture.

It looks as though the building is entering the park, while the park – through a hollowed-out form – includes the landscape that faces it, transforming it into a protected place available to users. 

Thus, the space between the existing wall and the new building also becomes a protected garden, which extends and hybridises the space between library, park and city.

In a counterpoint relationship at the front, towards the city, an architecture which is open, light and immaterial like the culture it represents, is defined towards the park, reflecting and incorporating it.

The interior space synthesises the volumetric, structural and distributive components, proposing a spatial sequence that allows users to have an overall view, despite the fact that the space has been divided functionally.

This synthesis takes place through four elements: the first element is the compact form; the second element is the division of the space in the centre through the connecting cores (stair-lifts) and service stairs, which become structural elements; the third element is the double height of the space after the entrance, which allows for a transversal view; and last element is the system of glazed patios that shapes the spaces, allowing for visual continuity despite the functional division.

Therefore, the articulation of the functions takes place naturally, allowing for different degrees of distributive freedom despite the constraints placed by the system.

At the entrance, a large covered loggia gives access to the building and opens onto the park. The permeability of the structure is also accentuated vertically by the perforated roof which allows for six tall trees to rise up from the +0.00 level and cover the terrace above with their foliage.

A ramp with a 5% gradient connects the lowest level to the +0.90 meter level which joins the park with a slight green slope. The latter produces a slightly higher view than the surrounding area even from the zero level, and reduces the excavation for the underground level.

The space entrance – information – reception, where a work of art specifically designed for the Library will be housed, opens towards the park and a small patio, and for a complete diagonal view of the entire space. From here, you can access the bar, through the smart working hall, without entering the actual library. 

An elevator, a book lift and a staircase connect the three levels of the library. The bar creates a continuous space with the gaming zone and with the newspaper library, and overlooks both the patio and the square. The patio is equipped with a water basin and a driveway for loading-unloading activities. 

After the reception, the multi-purpose space has double-height and constitutes the heart of the building, the only one that does not have a direct relationship with the outside. The divisions between the different rooms are proposed by means of glass walls or more simply by furnishings allowing for visual continuity in every direction.