APR Cultural

Third Award – Biblioteca Sant Gervasi – Galvany by MESURA

Global Future Design Awards 2019
Third Award
Category: Cultural
Team: Benjamin Iborra Wicksteed, Marcos Parera Blanch, Jordi Espinet Roma, Jaime Font Furest, Carlos Dimas Carmona
Country: Spain

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The recovery for the city of the Muñoz Ramonet estate culminates in a process in which the district of Sant Gervasi-Galvany gains gardens that will become a space with public facilities. Among them, the new library is considered a meeting point for neighbors and a focus of knowledge of the different cultures of the world. Therefore it must be an open and accessible place; transparent This contrasts with the obligation to bury most of the volume of the library to preserve the gardens and the general image of the Palace and the Tower. Our main objective will be, therefore, to transform a completely internal space into an outer landscape.

At the moment the Muñoz Ramonet estate turns its back on the neighborhood and looks towards Muntaner Street. The intention is to link it to the tranquility of Avenir street, recovering the old path of access to the Tower and its main façade to gain a new place of meeting and friendly. From here you can enter the library or go to the gardens, connecting the neighborhood directly with the new public garden. We have chosen to conceive this new green space, as a public garden and not as a park. It is a daring bet, but we understand that we are in a historical context. In order to take this decision, we have taken into account both the ability to load and use this green space, as well as its direct relationship with the historical garden in which it is located, and at the same time, direct link with the future library.

The main space of the library is conceived as a large unit volume under the same cover that is pumped to accommodate the outside garden. Above all, transparency is sought; the light penetrates by the facade of Avenir street to flood a great unitary space. Due to its dimensions, the user will have the feeling of being in an artificial interior landscape. This new landscape is a mirror of what happens outside. The gardens of the roof are replenished in the interior, looking for the idea to read between the trees, to learn walking. The landscape / project arises according to the guidelines and tools offered by a peripatetic garden treatment, resulting in a harmonic intervention and quite neutral but which at the same time marks a rhythm that allows thought and reflection. This treatment is reflected, both inside and outside the library, as well as at the street facade level. A single green continuous facade.

The interior Garden of the library, located parallel to Carrer Avenir, is the social gathering area, a patio-greenhouse with plants, where plants and books are cohabited, open to children’s space. We have had the collaboration of librarian specialists and in the conservation of archives, which have marked the requirements of humidity and quantity of insolation for the good preservation of books. The newly planted species are species of very low maintenance, with very low water needs. They are common and common in our gardens, so they do not offer distraction but above all a feeling of freshness and accompaniment. We combine three species that belong to three different strata. The lowest: Acanthus mollis. The tasty half Monstera deliciosa. The tall stratus, Ficus elastica. The combination of the three species allows us to play with volume and the geometry of these three species.

The Outdoor Garden, we pose as a tree library with history. A new garden where the protagonists are the recovered and transplanted trees, the columns, statues and the pool-lamina of water. The pavement with concrete slabs is



It has ordered the space generating new paths and large plateaus where we will find the new plantation vegetation, a single species, Magnolia grandiflora, in a pyramidal port, which is guiding the entrance of the species already existing in the garden, Brachichiton populenum, Cupressus evergreen, Celtic australis, Magnolia Grandiflora, Ulmus sp, Cercis siliquastrum, Livinstonia chinensis. The water lamina, will be the space destined to water lilies. A piece of garden that collects tree species from around the world in the same way that the library collects international literary works. In this way, the user becomes aware of the topic of public equipment both inside and outside; everything is part of a coherent set open to the citizen, to knowledge and to nature.

Functionally, the library is treated as an open and multifunctional space. The configuration of the library should allow its variation over time simply with small changes of furniture. The children’s area is conceived as a loft directly accessible from the lobby facing the street and the inner garden, where an informal consultation area is considered, a garden where you can sit and read that transports the user to the outside breaking the perception of being in a buried space. The architecture of the Tower is enhanced by strictly protecting its interior spaces. That’s why it agglutinates the program with the smallest pieces, suitable for its current configuration.

With the new Sant Gervasi-Galvany library, somehow we want to reach peripatetic knowledge; Inviting the user to learn while walking, while transporting from the bank of the street to the calm of the gardens, in a continuous route between interior and exterior in which the landscape is part of their experience and never ceases to accompany.


The project is based on the idea of ​​environmental quality understood as the relation between the habitability to be achieved and the non-renewable resources consumed plus the contaminated waste generated. In a building like the future Sant Gervasi-Galvany library, the energy of air conditioning, irrigation water, conventional materials and the generation of excavation waste are fundamental. For this reason, the main environmental actions are aimed at reducing its impact.