A PLEATED ROOF AND A RIFT OF LIGHT At the entrance to the town, this facility needed to findits place in a varied urban fabric. Withits individual houses, and small clusters of housing, the town is formed around a large square which continues to evolve. It is in this context that the new media library has been designed as part of the programme to complete the conurbation. It is one of the two key facilities in a network of around thirty libraries spread over 45 mainly rural villages.
The response is urban. The area around the building will hold a car park, the future youth centre, and a square to the south. The ground plan includes a pedestrian walkway to an existing park and will also welcome a lot of green spaces.
An awning marks the southern entrance. The building is a large two-storey hall, under a pleated roof that evokes industrial architecture, and the key design element is a central rift separating the building in two to encourage natural light to enter the entering building. This rift voluntarily deconstructs the uniformity of the building and creates a passage crossing the building. It contains a patio with greenery on the ground floor and is made of glass and holds three walkways on the second floor. It is the centrepiece that holds together the different spaces.
The media library has just one upper floor organised into a single and adaptable plateau. The ground floor is devoted to welcoming the public and administrative offices and actions to interest the local community: an area to read periodicals, an exhibition area with 120 seats and an independent auditorium.
On the upper floor, the volume is spacious, open and very light. The natural lighting mainly comes from the large windows on the south and north facades, tempered by the vertical openings of the two other facades. The pleated roof, dotted with circular oculi, creates the zenithal lighting. It is clad with panels of light wood, which give it a warm and calm ambience.
The space is punctuated by coloured box-type elements which absorb the technical blocks. The materials are unfussy and limited number: quartz concrete for the ground, wooden acoustic ceilings, and glass partitions around the patio.
Wood, chosen for its energy efficiency, is used in the roof structure, the wood-framed panels, and the acoustic panels beneath the roof. It gives the building a comfortable ambience due to the controlled temperatures in summer and in winter.