Madrid Municipal Library

A cultural center open to the city. In an era in which technology leads to the isolation of people, the project for the new municipal library in Madrid looks at the metaphor of knowledge sharing with an inclusive approach of culture and new technologies. The library is designed as a new centrality, a cultural center within the Las Tablas area, a place for meeting and sharing knowledge. Thanks to the simple volumes and the contrast between the metal surfaces of the exterior and the warmth of the interior wood, the building stands out in the surrounding urban fabric and establishes relations with the context while generating shared spaces for the community.


The arrangement of the library's interior comes from the rational organization of operations of the functional program. All spaces are arranged to ensure maximum accessibility and freedom of use, creating a noise gradient from the most informal spaces up to the quieter ones and with controlled access.


The project reinterprets the interior distribution through open spaces, flexible and reconfigurable common spaces, which host different functions and temporary cultural events. A fundamental space for events related to the cultural offer of the library is the open-air theatre which is designed to host performances, shows and screenings, thus bringing the activities even outside the building, especially during the hottest months.


Externally the building appears as a composition of two elementary volumes at different heights characterized by a particular triangular module that characterizes the design of the facade, both in plan both in elevation. This system has been designed specifically to optimize natural lighting in library environments by shielding direct sunlight and optimizing diffused light from the north. The facade system integrates the structural one. It is in fact composed in part of wooden pillars of the dimensions of 110x20 cm, oriented at 45 °, and partly by a light, glazed closure. The two elements are visually integrated by a brise-soleil system with vertical slats so as to further filter the light.



Name: Madrid Municipal Library

Type: Library

Design: SET Architects

Team: Lorenzo Catena, Onorato Di Manno, Andrea Tanci, Alessandra Dionne, Giulia Franco, Gildo Incitti

Year: 2018

Status: Shortlisted

Site: Madrid, Las Tablas (Spain)

Client: City of Madrid

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