Tuesday, 7 October 2014

New university library: 500 seats on 7 floors

The Italian architect Renzo Piano presented his reviewed project of the Congress Centre at Le Albere

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On Monday, 6 October, the Italian architect Renzo Piano officially presented the project he has been working on since 9 months for the new University library through the adaptation of the project for the Congress Centre under construction at Le Albere: 7 floors plus the underground parking place, walls and roof in glass, about 480,000 books and 500 seats.

The architect and his staff carried out a series of institutional visits in Trento, meeting the key figures of the University and the technical team. He explained the most significant phases of the project to reorganize the already existing building. The cost to rearrange the building shall be covered by the Autonomous Province of Trento and amounts to about 10 million EUR. The works should be completed in 2016.

The University of Trento required to the team of Renzo Piano to rearrange some pieces of furniture and the allocation of the rooms, to better meet the needs of the university library system.

Crystal, steel and stone are the materials used for the facility which shall welcome over 500 people, including users and staff. Like the MUSE, the Museum of Natural Sciences, designed by Renzo Piano as well, the new building is a play on volumes, of empty and full spaces thus creating an effect of lightness and luminosity.

According to the project presented by Piano in the Rector’s Office, the building will have seven floors (plus the underground parking place), covering a total surface of 6,752 square metres.

The new library contain over 10,000 linear metres of shelves - most of them open shelves - to arrange the book heritage of the university, with about 500 seats to read and consult the books and magazines.

The first underground floor will store a significant share of the publications, available upon demand of the users. This floor will also host the area devoted to the technological services to support the library and a small room where users will access particularly precious publications which will not be available for lending out.

The library entrance  will be on the ground floor, with a great hall with reading areas.The project also entails the possibility to create a relax area, in direct contact with the outdoor area.

A multimedia learning area with shelves for the consultation and a large share of the library offices will be placed on the first floor, while the second floor will mainly be devoted to study rooms and a large room to be used either as a multifunctional area or to host open shelves.

The third floor will be divided into two large reading areas which will receive light through skylights.

The fourth floor will host two text collections and two study areas; two parts of the buildings will be connected with a glass floor. The fourth floor will also host two study areas enlightened through skylights.

The fifth and last floor will be covered in crystal, with shelves but without seats for reading. Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the crystal roof, to produce energy. The building will be provided with 28 toilets, 10 of which are accessible to disabled people.