Located within the Pierres Vives building in Montpellier to serve as a reading room for the Archive of the Department of Herault.
For a public reading room such as this, we decided to provide visitors with a pleasant and comfortable space to read surrounded by a treasure trove of books that lend the space an overwhelming physical presence.
The new library comprises an entrance desk, an information desk, reading room tables and library shelves.
We combined the different functions of the program into a single object in order to create a new dialogue between the tables and the library and a continuous flow through the entire space. The tables bend around the back wall to form the library with each piece of the puzzle referencing a letter of the alphabet. The field of tables resonates with the lighting of the existing ceiling to form its “shadow”. At night the edge of the corian material used throughout is back lit and makes the ceiling, the library and tables appear as one.
The project palette is composed of: 2 functions: reading room tables and library shelving; 2 materials: timber and corian; 2 colours: black and white; 2 geometries: straight and curved. This reflects the duality of author and reader; the one’s intention and the other’s interpretation.