Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Can Baró Library in Barcelona, Spain by Sierra Rozas Arquitectes
March 12th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Sierra Rozas Arquitectes
The place destined for the enlargement and the whole Can Baró environment, preserved the charm of those areas where diversity and disunity required a forceful, logical and considered response. The enlargement becomes an extension of the topography looking for a merger between the building and the public area, which is not seen as something that we find between the buildings, but is integrated into the architecture. The architectural area is something that we find hidden or camouflaged within the topography.
The building is reformed according to the environment with the following starting conditions: the existing building and an irregular large gap of complex geometry with a considerable topographic slope. The new building, in its apparent formal complexity, can be summed up as a bespoke piece of the place. Built and modeled with what cannot be touched, but can be perceived: light-shadow, empty-full, open-closed, warm -cold …
Casa Baró is an early twentieth century “masía” protected in the catalog of historical and artistic heritage of the municipality. The reform is done completely, preserving only the facade closure. The building envelope has been meticulously intervened exclusively at those points where it is necessary in order to return the building to its primal identity.The new roofing and the glass skylight situated therein are turned into a large photovoltaic sensor.
In order to take advantage of the unevenness of the ground, the new enlargement comes out as an extension of the topography of the place. As a prolongation of the sidewalk, a part of the cover becomes an horizontally carpet becoming a public square. It is a sloping square that culminates in a viewpoint located in a privileged site with excellent views. From this point on, the building is not understood as a building but as the actual terrain that descends and is modelled to end up transformed into a space that houses the library programme.
The roof begin to break up turning into the topography that descends in a search for dialogue and relation with the neighboring constructions. The going up and down mechanism of the roofing allows getting higher interior spaces and, simultaneously, filter and capture daylight to illuminate them.
Inside, the double spaces will bring eventually light the spaces below. In the ground floor a glass enclousere has been choosen to provide transparency and to announce what takes place inside, like a showcase. Further up the spaces are open only in selectively and controlled points seeking out the best views.
These spaces generate suitable places for reading, preserving both its own privacy and the one of the surrounding buildings. Inside everything is articulated into sequences and spaces that change constantly with simultaneity of diaphanous spaces, double spaces, diagonalized views, highly controlled views and multiple zenith light inputs. The interior furnishings project reinforces the architectural traces.
The new and the existing part are related to each other with the utmost respect, by analogy and contrast.The use of common materials in reforms, both inside and outside, and the use of the formal and spatial language interrelate the two buildings. The intervention also involves the development of the whole environment of the library, with clear pedestrian connectivity improvements.
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