A glazed reading room appears to float over the still waters of a shallow pool at this town library in Maranello, Italy, by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and Italian architect Andrea Maffei (+ slideshow).
The curving glass facade wiggles back and forth to form the building's perimeter, while study areas behind the glass offer visitors a view out across the water towards the ivy-covered walls that bound the site.
"The volume is mirrored on a body of water that reflects the intense color of the ivy onto the surrounding walls and surfaces," said Andrea Maffei.
The glass facade straightens up at the building's entrance, although a semi-circular canopy extends outwards to continue the curved outline.
Beyond the reception, a single reading room occupies most of the ground floor and is filled with white furniture that can accommodate up to 90 visitors at a time.
"In the interior of the building the absolute white resin pavement and white furniture captures the green hues of the greenery that is reflected from the continuous glazed surfaces of the curvilinear façade," added Maffei. "The light that pervades the open space of the library is exhibited in a play of reflections that bounce from the white elements of the furniture, the floors and structure, to the water and the continuous transparent glass."
A local history archive and small playroom are also located on this floor, while stairs lead down to a digital archive, lecture space and meeting room in the basement.
Maffei previously spent several years working in Arata Isozaki's Tokyo studio and the pair have since teamed up on a number of projects that are underway elsewhere in Italy.
Other projects we've featured by Arata Isozaki include a modular office block in Barcelona and an inflatable concert hall he designed with Anish Kapoor.
Photography is by Alessandra Chemollo.
Here's some more information from the architects:
The new Town Library in Maranello, Italy, designed by architects Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei, opened to the public on November 19, 2011. Built near the center of the city, it substantiates the effective synergy between a public administration that of Maranello - which is investing in pursuing an architecture of quality - and the designers: Arata Isozaki, one of the most celebrated masters of contemporary Japanese architectural culture, and Andrea Maffei, Italian architect who worked in Isozaki’s studio in Tokyo for several years and is now co-designing with him several projects in Italy, currently in development.
The building defines a rarefied space that is perfectly placed within the urban fabric. Its sinuous profiles are bound by glass plates that follow its contour: reading becomes an “open” experience by means of the transparent membrane that forms the façade. It manifests as an interaction between knowledge and the contemplation of the landscape that surrounds the library.
The building expresses a dialogue with the urban fabric through the transparency of its body. The objective, on the part of the architects, was to establish a direct interaction with the city. Situated within a residential area, the library takes the place of a pre-existing building whose traces can still be found as the northern, eastern and southern exterior walls. These walls are covered with ivy, which along with the reflecting pools at the foot of the glazed perimeter make up the new natural horizons that are offered to the readers and patrons of the library.
As of today, the new Library in Maranello offers the community an environment in which to read, study, learn and enjoy a space that is suspended over a body of water and enveloped by greenery.
Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image
Above: basement plan - click above for larger image
Above: roof plan - click above for larger image
Above: section aa - click above for larger image
Above: section bb - click above for larger image