A sculptural multi-media library in France

Architect Jean-Pierre Lott has completed a sculptural multi-media library in Vitrolles — a city on the outskirts of Marseille in the South of France. The building has been designed to express ‘movement and lightness’ as a metaphor for reading. The scheme features a contrasting façade that comprises an inviting level of glazing aligned with the street. Above, an undulating veil of white concrete features apertures that resemble lattice work.

The transparent base offers pedestrians a clear view of the library’s entrance, its exhibition spaces, the café, and the auditorium. The upper level contains the more secluded reading rooms, which have been designed in a manner that reflects the rippling elevations. Throughout the project Jean-Pierre Lott paid close attention to the amount of light that enters the structure. Consequently, the north facing façade has more openings, ensuring a constant source of northern light.

Sharing a direct connection with the reception area, the children’s section is located on the ground floor, adjoining a garden that allows for outdoor activity. Forming the focal point of the space, the ‘fairy tale hour’ room hovers above the reception area providing a place for dreaming and storytelling. A grand staircase leads to the level above where open walkways link the various rooms. Finally, the uppermost storey contains the reading floors and can be accessed by a dedicated service elevator.

Instinct Furniture BLOG, mostly about cool libraries, furniture and design – keeping you abreast of our world. (Source: Designboom. All images by Aldo Amoretti).

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