Interventions for the National Library in Madrid, Spain, 2023
Our vision for the reactivation of the National Library of Spain, seeks to highlight its presence in the existing virtual axis between the Paseo del Prado and the Paseo de Recoletos: as an essential part of the Art Promenade. The proposal was to build a powerful dialogue between architecture, art and landscape. The main objective was to value the existing National Library building, adapt the use of its interior and exterior spaces to be inviting and create a new cultural ground. The proposal used three differentiated but articulated interventions: The Interior Courtyards - The Garden - The Historic Building.
View from Courtyard
The Inner Courtyards
The project began with the redefinition of the two interior patios: North and South, as generators of new activity and identity, Interior Landscapes that invite the visitor to immerse themselves in charged environments. The volume of these two patios is taken as an opportunity to qualify two identical spaces differentiated by their canopy and ambience, favoring orientation and diversity within the complex.
Outdoor areas view
The Historic Building
For the adaptation of various interior public spaces on the ground and basement floors, different actions are proposed with the intention of retaining the original architecture as much as possible while increasing the flexibility and sustainability of the new interventions.
The Southern Courtyard: The Cloud
The new proposal for this patio is an expansion of existing facilities, increasing their functionality. Thus, it was decided to create a café-bookstore-restaurant area articulated in different rooms that also has an ideal connection with the Urban Garden-Living Room that gives access to the building. The roof of this patio is envisioned as a cloud, a light translucent tapestry that gently settles on the perimeter of the historic wall, and that collects rainwater to supply the new green areas. Under this cloud, the patio welcomes people and plants alike, creating a hybrid and exciting space where you can have a coffee, read a book or rest in the shelter of aromatic plants. This interior garden proposes a space between domestic and public, as a counterpoint to the urban garden-living room with which it connects.
The Garden: Urban Hall
The garden that gives access to the library from Paseo de Recoletos is a fundamental element of the project that contributes to a more open and attractive building for the public. The connection with the public thoroughfare and the interior spaces is intensified to guarantee greater interior-exterior continuity and transparency. The current configuration is transformed keeping all the existing trees and complementing them with other landscaped areas that alternate native flora with areas for resting or meeting. The new garden will have living spaces, landscaped meadows, flower beds, benches with integrated lighting, water pools and other landscape elements that will be arranged highlighting the visual axes of the route.
Ground level Plan
Project program diagram
Outdoor areas and Landscape view