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Deusto library

Deusto University Library. Bilbao
Architect: Rafael Moneo

(...) The library new building does not intend to compete with the landmark represented by the Guggenheim, on the other hand it aims to convey its public character and to establish a kind of continuity with the entire University area. However neither one nor the other of these conditions prevented the building from being ideated as an isolated structure, vaunting an own life within the park. The connection with it is produced by an open courtyard which ensures the transition between the built and the garden area.
(...) The architect has decided to use glass bricks, a material which makes it possible to create soft facades, which do not compete with the Guggenheim and create a bond with the park. the glass bricks form a neutral, monolithic and monochromatic volume which is very different from the glimmering titanium of the Guggenheim and which harmonizes with the green universe of the surrounding parks. The architect has been seduced by the potential of this material; by night the volume becomes a kind of lighthouse while only the fissures of the Guggenheim are visible.
(...) The difference in terms of materials between the Guggenheim and the library becomes less marked if one considers how influential the museum has been to the orientation of the university building. Paying an obvious tribute to Gehry´s building, Moneo has chosen to position the library so it is oriented towards the Guggenheim, whose vivacious volumes serve as backdrop for the reading rooms.
(...) This orientation is also witnessed by the position of the court, which underscores the public character of the venue and helps to establish a connection with the park, where the library aims to become one more element.

Extracts from the project description. Jose Rafael Moneo Valles.