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Biblioteca Lateranese

Sted: Roma, Arkitekt: King Roselli Architetti, Byggeår: 2006

Adresse: Largo de’ Ginnasi, 2, 00186 Roma
On commissioning the project for the new library extension to the Pontificial Lateran University the chancellor Mons. Rino Fisichella was quite clear in his main objective: to bring the activity of read- ing and the consultation of books as the central occupation of the university.
The library’s presence can be perceived from the university; through a series of viewing cones created by joining the window reveals (that once gave on to the exterior) to apertures closed with fire glass in the book stacks. It is entered from the first floor corridor of the main building down a flight of basalt stairs under the first level of the book stacks into a spacious foyer. This is where the locker room, computer indexes-laid on an articulated table, card index, professors reading room and librarians posting are set.
The library is arranged so that for every two floors of book stacks one sloping ramp, “U” shaped in plan, connects them. The book stacks are as low as possible to avoid the use of ladders to reach the highest shelves and, given the thin floor slab, are made look like a set of bookshelves themselves. They are connected verti- cally by a staircase set between the containing wall and an inte- rior façade of bookshelves facing the reading ramps dedicated to publications, to form in effect a book tower. The slope of the ramps is determined by joining the regularly spaced floors of the book stacks to the irregular cuts in the façade which creates the
reality (not simply the effect) of volumes floating in light. (

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