— Stanton Williams has been appointed in collaboration with local practice Marcillon Thuillier Architectes after an international design competition
— The winning design was chosen over proposals by four other practices including OMA, Snøhetta, Wilmotte & Associés and Christian de 2Portzamparc
— Conceived both as a major new library and as a social and creative hub in the heart of Clermont-Ferrand, the new 11500m2 Metropolitan Library will be the largest in the Clermont Auvergne region of central France
— Stanton Williams’ concept for the new Regional Library inserts a jewel-like piece of contemporary architecture at the heart of the restored historic Hôtel-Dieu hospital in the centre of the city
— This is the second major Stanton Williams project in France, after the practice completed the award-winning Musée d’arts de Nantes in 2017 to wide international acclaim
The appointment was announced by Olivier Bianchi, Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand and President of the metropolitan area of Clermont-Ferrand in the presence of members of the team and city officials.
“We are delighted with the opportunity to work on a major public building in France and to reinforce our strong links with Europe. In a time when local libraries and community centres here in the UK are being closed and under increasing budget pressure, the new Metropolitan Library in Clermont Ferrand is a bright example that there is faith in the importance and transformational power of access to literature and culture that our cities and communities need more than ever,” said Patrick Richard, Principal Director at Stanton Williams.
Stanton Williams’ concept reimagines the 17th century Hôtel-Dieu hospital building and garden as the new shared home for the Clermont-Ferrand Metropolitan Library and its collections. At the heart of this enchanting world of books and ideas is a new cultural destination – a double height light-filled central forum, inserted as a giant ‘glass jewel’ box into the horseshoe shape of the existing building. Conceived as a ‘free space’ for research, discovery and dialogue, the translucent glass structure mediates between earth and sky, books and people, building and garden, historic city and the spectacular presence of the Puy de Dôme on the horizon. Literally rooted in the volcanic strata of the city, crater-like subterranean gathering and performance spaces animate the central forum and relate to the myriad of caves and storage chambers beneath the Hôtel-Dieu hospital.
The project will employ passive cooling strategies and will focus on responsible use of materials – such as locally sourced volcanic stone and a timber engineered structure.
Stanton Williams has been appointed as a Lead Architect in collaboration with local practice Marcillon Thuillier Architectes, Rémi Fromont (Heritage Architects), Moz Paysage (Landscape Architects), Eckersley O’Callaghan (Structural and Facade Engineers), Louis Choulet Ingenierie (M&E & Sustainability Engineers), Salto Ingenierie (Acoustics Consultants), Cartlidge Levene (Signage and Wayfinding), Betrec Ingenierie (Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager) and APAVE (Asbestos, Lead and Radon Surveyors).