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Carles Muro

Stockholm Public Library

The library is no longer merely a place for the storage and reading of books. In the contemporary library the book has to share the space with other media. No longer is it the temple of the book, but neither is it merely a space for the storage of information. What the contemporary library can offer is a new kind of collective space: a meeting place for the acquisition, creation and circulation of knowledge.

The core of the new library will be centred around the Subject Areas: each of them will consist of a circular plan, 42m in diameter and a mezzanine level, also circular, with the same diameter as the drum of Asplund’s library. The main floor of each Area will provide the support for the different activities: study areas, group meetings, children’s Discovery Libraries, etc. Each of these will be placed within the plan according to the combination of two simple parameters: the requirements of silence and light. Those activities producing more noise will be closer to the access –and sometimes enclosed- whilst those requiring silence will be closer to the perimeter, together with those that will benefit from natural light.

The difference in the required programme area will be adjusted through the varying degrees of perforation of the slabs. Thus, the different Subject Areas will be a series of variations on a theme.

Finally, in order to reduce the footprint of the building and thus offer the possibility of maintaining Annexes 2 and 3 as part of the library premises, the different Subject Areas are stacked one on top of the other according to a rule based on the spiralling displacement of the centres of the slabs.

About The Designer

Carles Muro is an architect and educator. He worked with Elías Torres and José A. Martínez Lapeña in Barcelona (1987-1991) and Álvaro Siza in Oporto (1992-1993) before setting up in private practice in 1993. Recent built projects include the Public Market in Inca (Majorca) and the Health Care Centre in Tordera, near Barcelona. The work of his practice has been extensively exhibited and published worldwide. Muro was Unit Master at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London, 1996-1998) and Director of the Masters Programme “Arquitectura: Crítica y Proyecto” at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, 1998-2002). He has taught regularly at the ETSABarcelona (1993-2015) and is currently Design Critic in Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He has also been a member of the Editorial Board of several publications and director of the “Pre-Textos de Arquitectura” book series. A selection of his writings was collected in the volume Arquitecturas Fugaces (Lampreave, Madrid, 2007).