University Library - Gent - Belgium

This project consists in the addition of a new structure which has its own function and design, inside an already built building, in this case an old one, constructed in the 19th century. The Infill aspect of this project properly deals with the existing situation of the building.
This category is for sure appropriate, even though this intervention could also be part of other categories. First of all, this project could fit the Renovation category as the architects transformed this big hall from an old space into completely a new and renovated space. Secondly this intervention could also be in the Conversion category, as the newly built library is now located in an area of the building which had the previous function of Physics hall.
The Redesign category might also be descriptive for this project because the existing hall has now a new aspect and architectural language that deals with the old building as modern answer to the the construction needs. Also, the Addition category could describe this project as the library itself is a new added space to the building.
This category might deal with the Infill one because this addition is actually infilled inside the building and in particular under the balcony of the existing physics hall.
This project is finally so properly inserted in the existing situation that is immediately part of the building, without hiding his new and innovative design.
The chosen color for example, shows for sure that the intervention is a new addition to the ancient building, but it demonstrates also how this library is in a way respectful to its container, even if it shows its modern and practical character.
For the previously written reasons, the University Library is, from a personal point of view, part of many different categories which all have a common factor: transforming some spaces or specific situations into something that has a new aspect and functional form, that respects visually and historically a specific situation.
We could call this new category “Respectful transformation”, a combination of different aspects of a building renovation that considers properly the existing situation and shows discreetly its character as an addition.

[project selected by Marco Pederzini]





Architecture as Resource / Imprint