Carlana Mezzalira Pentimalli

Kulturbaum, New Civic Library . Brixen

2010 (1st Prize)

The project of a public building, inside the traditional historical centre nearby the cathedral dome, is related to the numerous questions bound to the importance of the site.

The need to identify the library with the site leads to the inner characteristics of the site itself that is translated into the development of punctual architectural thoughts regarding the bow-windows, porch and steep pitches. These rediscovered traces and characteristics became the genesis elements of the design process. The concept of the building is inspired by the shape of a tree. It lays itself next to the two pre-existing buildings and their contact turns into walking points. The context’s mimesis also finds its nature through the contemporary re-interpretation of the local technique and materials. The final feature of the new building is the result of a controlled growth of the mass which contracts and deforms itself inside the space. Far from the idea of the library as a self-referential system, it adapts itself as a sensitive organism and it tries to find morphological and functional solutions for the site. Interiors and exteriors exchange themselves, in an environment where space and light play a leader role. Natural light represents one of the most important aspect for a library as it influences heavily on the proper use of it and on the maintenance of the material inside: books. Direct light is a great enemy for books, as a consequence it must be controlled in order to avoid any damage of paper. As the southern façade has no interesting view, it becomes a completely blind wall which does not receive sun rays indoor. Walls are also used as a “curtain wall of books” that becomes the manifesto of the library as “box of knowledge”.
In order to admire the most interesting elements offered by the urban landscape, huge bow-windows have been set to create an intimate space. Looking at the fast mutations and the growing needs of our society, the project tried to make the space of the public building more and more flexible and easily changeable. Far from the classical organization and display of the forniture, the new building has a system of double shell which has all kind of services inside, cleaning completely the inner space from any functional obligation. With its growth and changes through the times, the needs of the contemporary library find a possible way out with this solution.

Michel Carlana
Luca Mezzalira
Curzio Pentimalli

Comune di Bressanone (BZ)
Piazza Duomo, Bressanone (BZ), Italia
Dimensional dates
1600 m2
5900 m3 (new building)

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