The building, designed by the Carlana Mezzalira Pentimalli studio, is a versatile, comfortable and multifunctional space: contemporary but respectful of the past

The character of Nordic architecture and the sense of belonging that it is able to generate materialize in the project of the new library of Bressanone, in the careful maintenance and respect for persistences and traces of the past.

In urban environments, every element that is part of past history has a value in itself and is able to welcome the new as a measured graft, a connection with the elements of tradition that are renewed in the contemporary, expanding their dimensions, welcoming informal gestures , in a harmonious friction between past and present.

The Library of Bressanone: in tune with the context

The Civic Library of Bressanone, designed by the studio Carlana Mezzalira Pentimalli in harmony with the context, shows itself as an architecture conceived on the idea of the city - to quote Leon Battista Alberti - whose monumentalism contains a domestic place that overlooks the historic center, proposing itself as a public space with activities which go far beyond its primary institutional functions.

A building with three different bodies

The building complex was born from the union of three different bodies: the former Court to the north, the former Guardia di Finanza to the west - subject of restoration - and the library, acting as a hinge between these 'last.

On the courtyard, surrounded by two historical fronts, there are the rooms dedicated to reading and overlooks the front of the new architecture, the Kulturbaum, or the tree of culture, where the critical issues of the architectural work are revealed. Among these, an accentuated figural duality between the stereometric uniqueness of an apparent modeled mass and the separations of the internal environments, which give life to autonomous horizontal and vertical spatialities.

The building envelope is fluid, enveloping, adapting to the pre-existing structures with calibrated folds, while the detached and free floors are set with precision and draw the ambiguities of the various levels of connection, addressing the adjacent forms to give rise to small streets and squares.

A dual imprint also dictated the choice of materials and colours, with a washed plaster on the external surface and on the ground floor, in contrast with the intimate warmth of the wood of the boiserie.

The study of light

The building complex as a whole is closed on the southern sides, so as to recompose the three parts into a single body to protect the book heritage from direct solar radiation, while it opens to the west towards the Diocesan Museum and to the east towards the White Tower and the Duomo, with two large bow windows, the only source of light for all levels.

On the first floor, modulated on the profile of the fixtures, large continuous surfaces open up, spontaneously colonized by school groups.

The public vocation of the building fits into the overlap of public and private, thanks to the favorable accessibility of the ground floor, facilitated by the division of spaces dedicated to recreational activities.

An inclusive project

In the adjacent buildings, the restoration of the ancient wall structures and the wooden structures as well as the conservation of the wall decorations were planned, together with the design of new structural elements to replace obsolete reinforcements.

All the furnishings were designed specifically, because the slight differences in level of the floors required a different proportion of their heights. The entire complex has been in operation for over a year, demonstrating the effectiveness of an inclusive, social and cultural project.

Cover photo: An image of the Bressanone library and the area dedicated to consulting the volumes.