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Municipal Library and Historical Archive


Description Technical file

This interesting refurbishment exercise in a building of high heritage value organises the new library and archive programme in a clear and simple way, giving their prominence back to the unique exterior spaces, the courtyard and the garden.

The Municipal Library and Historical Archive of Baiona is located in the old Hospital Sancti Spiritus, built
in the 16th century across from the old Collegiate Church of Santa María. This two-storey building embedded into the slope of the historic quarter has a garden with a kitchen garden and its corresponding well, plus an internal courtyard. Within the courtyard are two staircases leading to the first floor and two stone sculptures: a pilgrim and a figure of the Apostle St James.
On the ground floor a great entryway crosses the building longitudinally and arranges all of the library’s circulations. Like an interior street, it connects the main entrance to the courtyard and the garden. On one side, a new stone wall accompanies visitors to the exit. This thick wall in granite ashlar incorporates the existing windows, the accesses to other rooms and a new niche for sitting in and also gathers together the various archaeological pieces found in the original building. Across from it, a wooden volume holds the programme for the Municipal Archive, the facilities and the lift. The polyvalent room and the children’s library open up directly onto the courtyard and their activity can extend to
the outside. A series of curves of varying openings define 87 the perimeter of the children’s room to adapt to the fragmented original geometry and to give it its own identity. The entrance door from the entryway is a thick pivoting shelving unit, a secret door integrated into the rest of the shelving when closed.
The entire available space is liberated for the reading room, which flows uninterruptedly around it. A double maple wood shell completely delimits this room and generates a concentric functional strip of interstitial spaces such as carrels, toilets, offices and informal reading areas. The floor is finished in the same material as the walls, as is the inner roof, which is triangulated to adapt to the technical and dimensional needs of the structure and the installations. The thickness of this poché is evinced in the roof lights, great white cones, and in the perimeter rooms which, like the old courting cubicles or religious reading cabinets, are attached to the façade of the old building.
The garden runs along a path connecting the entrance vestibule with the direct access from calle Manuel Valverde. This route links up three consecutive episodes. First the existing orchard and kitchen garden, where ashlar blocks discarded from the original works were recovered in order to give shape
to a stone runner next to the well and four small seats under the trees. Next to the new tree grove, two large stone sarcophagi, also found on site, provide seating space from which to observe the rainwater collected inside them.

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Localización Location: Baiona, Pontevedra. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Murado y Elvira Arquitectos | Juan Elvira, Clara Murado. Dirección de obra Site management: Óscar López Alba, Juan Elvira y Clara Murado, arquitectos, Manuel Cuquejo, arquitecto técnico. Arquitectos colaboradores Collaborating architects: Eugenia Concha, Marta Colón de Carvajal, concurso, Cristina Gutiérrez Chevalier, Francesco Martone, proyecto de ejecución Ingeniería Enginnering: Obradoiro Enxeñeiros. Estructura Structure: Ezequiel Fernández Grinda. Constructora General Contractor: Orega Coviastec. Superficie construida Built area: 1.076,50 m2. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2017. Fotografía Photography: Imagen Subliminal | Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero.
Juan Elvira
Clara Murado
Murado & Elvira Arquitectos
Miguel De Guzmán
Rocío Romero