A reinvestigation on the Très Grande Bibliothèque’s case.
Master thesis, under the direction of Kersten Geers (Office KGDVS), Andrea Zanderigo (Baukuh), Nicola Braghieri (Ex-M) and Michael Jakob.
In 1989, the project of a new building to house the National Library of France was taking shape. The Très Grande Bibliothèque had to be a monumental and symbolic object to allow the development of Tolbiac district, still nonexistent at the time. Today, the role of the National Library of France has been transformed, firstly, in its role as a physical library at the digital era and secondly, in its relationship with the urban environment, now developed. This is why I chose to reinvestigate the subject of the National Library of France in order to imagine a contemporary project, and this, through the collage as a design tool.
One of the main interests of the project of the National Library of France is to design both the monument and the city that surrounds it, one inducing the another, and vice versa. The project is not simply an architectural project, but also an infrastructural and urbanistic project. It seeks to embody the quintessence of the public building and rediscover the idea of a building as a social condenser. Following on from my theoretical research, foreplay – A short account of three millennia of entrances, the project proposes a thorough study of thresholds and sequences required by such a library, which can only be a plural institution. An Atrium Paradisus partakes of the Parisian’s void archipelago; this space mediates between the profane exterior and the sacred interior. This habitat for the flâneur is a third place for Paris that, via a set of thresholds, brings together ostentatiousness and serenity, communication and preservation, the public and the intimate, and the fugitive and the immutable.