Ceuta Public Library
Ricardo Bak Gordon
Paredes Pedrosa studio is renowned for the close attention it pays both to the study of architectural briefs and the location of the buildings it designs.
The case of the Ceuta Library is a paradigmatic one, worthy of particular appreciation. The building is located at the intersection of two historic streets dating back to the city’s medieval layout. There, the building perches on a slope, an urban landmark in the service of the public. However, the location chosen for Ceuta’s new library is first and foremost an archaeological site in which the city’s Muslim past is now revealed, serving as a kind of foundation for the new building, in which wisdom, knowledge and culture are brought to life in a dynamic relationship between past and present by the architectural choices made.
Over the course of day and night, the plastic transformation undergone by the building gradually reveals its inner life, lighting it up and emphasising its nature as a territorial waypost in a wider setting.
This desire of the architects, in full awareness that the building’s function is not limited to its immediate users, taking on instead an ambitious role in the fabric of the city itself, was made possible by a profound study of the structural systems underlying its chosen features.
The studio works with research teams able to develop sophisticated infrastructure, façades or illumination systems at the service of the project’s overarching architectural strategy.
Accordingly, its partnership with Jofebar gave rise to a translucent metallic façade, abstract in nature, which lights up the library’s interior with filtered luminous intensity by day, while at night appearing whole, resembling a lighthouse at the entrance of the Mediterranean.
Location Ceuta, Spain
Client Ministry of Culture, City of Ceuta
Architecture Paredes Pedrosa Arquitectos
Authors Ángela García de Paredes, Ignacio G. Pedrosa
Collaborators Lucía Guadalajara, Álvaro Rábano, Clemens Eichner, Álvaro Oliver, Guiomar Martín,
Eva Urquijo, Ángel Camacho, Ignacio Cordero, Blanca Leal, Roberto Lebrero
Structural Engineers GOGAITE S.L.
Mechanical Engineers JG Ingenieros S.A.
Technical control Juan Antonio Zoido, Luís Calvo
Contractor Acciona Infraestructuras