BIBLIOTECA PARQUE ESPANA

The contrast with the landscape, the ‘Biblioteca Parque Espana’ by Giancarlo Mazzanti sits in, certainly contributes massively to its beauty. In the green landscape with only beige colored low-rise self-built dwellings the library rises up eight stories, clad in black natural stone. By exploiting the landscape Mazzanti ensures the visibility of his building, in a far more sustainable way. Instead of a road axis, a cable car connects the valley with the library. The cable cars silently float over the city, needing only some masts to keep it all up. It’s a very clean way of transport too. The major and only disadvantage of such cable car system is that it mostly only connects two points. Evocating on the concept it is not that hard to image a city where the icons, all positioned at high points in the landscape, are connected by a cable car network. The ‘Biblioteca Parque Espana’ is highly iconographic, and in its iconography highly contextual. The abstracted rock-formation of the ‘Biblioteca’ points to the material the landscape is made of. Mazzanti here has designed an incredible thin skin. From a distance the buildings still looks solid, but closer one finds that the skin is just a thin drape. With this Mazzanti intelligently questions the iconography, providing the building with a pregnant layering. The architecture of the windows is a story in itself. By placing them in the surface of the ‘rock’ in a pattern without a relation to the position of the floors inside, the windows become like a contamination of the rock. Rocks often are like that, contaminated with layers of various materials. Here this contamination is echoed in the materialization of the skin. The stones that are used are not everywhere the same, but are differentiated in color and reflective properties. The random pattern of silvery pieces in the black stone skin is doubled on the scale of the façade as a whole with the scattered windows. The thinness of the façade is made possible by a set of steel bars that take all forces on the façade to the main structure. The skin is separated from the bones.
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