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Community Library

Project for the refurbish of the former Café of the provincial Library “De Gemmis”

  • Client:
    Municipality of Bari
  • Year:
  • Type:
  • Status:
  • Team:
    archt. F. Russo (team leader), archt. R. Russo, archt. A. Trisolini, eng. G. Sblendorio
  • Consultants:
    Dicecca Ingegneria
  • Surface:
    150 square meters
  • Location:
    Bari - Italy

The project "Interventions for the creation of an area dedicated to the children of the De Gemmis Library" includes technical and architectural adjustments for the seventeenth-century historical complex of Santa Teresa dei Maschi, located in the old town of Bari, site of the Library; also, this project covers the supply of furniture and books, and it is designed to create an area dedicated to the children, including those with disabilities, by allocating a designated area that is not shared with the other library users, easily accessible and highly characterized for this purpose.
Through the realization of two new floors, a flat roof and a raised floor conceived as a new playground, the new library dedicated to children is redefined, creating a special area, easily accessible and strongly characterized as a meeting place. All the interventions are reversible and integrated into the pre-existence.
The project defines a new entrance-reception from which the new semi-covered space can be accessed from the new structure, in steel and glass, for reading and entertainment area. The former Café is converted into a new cozy space designed for the younger ones with large soft carpets on which to settle down and involve yourself in reading. A sliding glass wall divides the interior from the outside so as to enlarge or reduce, as needed, the closed space of the former Café. The niches and intrados of the openings are reconceived as more intimate places and for that reason they are redesigned by bookcases where to stop and read and confront each other.
A key role within the new library for children is played by the small uncovered courtyard which thanks to its closed and circumscribed space, it turns into a new play-educational space centered on knowledge and sensory discovery thanks to the bed out plants and autochthon fragrant vegetation.
In the project, the technological innovation of the services is aimed at the automated management of the assets and to the greater usability of the users through the provision and adoption of RFID technology for back-office management, front-office services with self-check and anti-theft function. 
In the choice of furnishings for the 'Kids' section it is essential to take into account the functionality and safety in order to guarantee high standards of quality, ergonomics and modularity. Particular attention is given to the choice of furnishings that lends the spaces a warm and familiar atmosphere, even through the use of color, which characterises shelving and fittings for the kids section. So it was decided to equip the area with furniture suitable for this kind of users¸ the furnishings include seats, small tables, carpets, containers, small bookcases with shelf exhibitor for new arrivals, soft seating, as detailed in the attached executive plan.