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University Library, Reims, France

Tuesday 06 Mar 2007

Reading in Reims

Photography: Jean-Marie Monthiers 
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Chabanne & Partners architects deliver originality for academic campus 

This stunning design carries the identity of the university; the library is a shop window, an identifiable and recognizable place, the building federates a district and contributes to the continuity of flows and activities. The project takes its part in the rebuilding of the urban fabric of the campus along a strong axes. Part of a new generation of buildings in search of another monumental shape, the library must be visible and worth reading in the heart of the region. As an opened book thanks to its sloping facade, it is a big vessel, a place of meetings and concentration of the knowledge. Outside, the style formed by the large metal pole, embodying the handwritten, irregular and cursive script, drawn on a slip of paper on a traditional book. The sloping facade is covered by a network of fine openings like strips with binary code symbolizing the computer and the new stand of the knowledge. As a fundamental design principle, the volume of the project was completely focused on the control of natural light. Otherwise, openings, solar protections and Bakelite wooden facings alternate to give rhythm to the facades. In the heart of the project, the central atrium shelters the main working room. The quality of the natural lighting results essentially from sheds in roof, so allowing a beautiful homogeneity of the light. The large windows on the East and West buildings’ sides guarantee the complement to necessary light. Windows frames are equipped with shade screen in order to avoid dazzle. Shading screens allow the reading zones, situated in the projecting building to take advantage of the light without being dazzled nor being seen since the outside, like “moucharabiehs”.

Key Facts

Value 22(m€)
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CHABANNE & partenaires architectes

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