Setúbal Public Library
culture , Honorable Mention
The new Setúbal Public Library, more than just a new building, seeks to absorb and reconnect various elements of its location. The proposal was to construct this library at the southern end of José Afonso Square, within a horizontal and dense structure. In contrast with the density of the structure, the roof consists of a transparent grid structure which gradually dematerialises as it moves into the square, drawing people towards the main entrances of the building and assuming its position as an extension of the public space.
The library is a rectangular prism which is 100m long by 24m wide and 6m high. The body is structured using a stone as the backbone of the building, which contains the Internal Services, and which helps to articulate and organise the structure into two hemispheres, the North (Infant Section/Square) and the South (Adult Section/Waterfront).
In a building of this nature, the experience of space is inseparable from the light, which is arguably the strongest element in the creation of atmosphere in a library. Thus, the entire space is covered by a mesh of translucent skylights controlling the light from above, ensuring a high level of energy efficiency.