Sant Antoni – Joan Oliver Library, Senior Citizens Center and Cándida Pérez Gardens

Photo © Eugeni Pons
Photo © Hisao Suzuki
Photo © Hisao Suzuki
Photo © Hisao Suzuki
RCR Arquitectes

The library, named in honor of playwright and poet Joan Oliver, came about through a competition won by RCR in 2005. The original competition merely called for the design of an administrative building. Once the spatial and social opportunities of the architects’ proposal were understood, the commissioning body agreed that urban amenities, a library and senior citizens center, would be more appropriate for the site and the neighborhood. The architects sought to make the street more dynamic and to open up the inner courtyard for public use, as well as to create a library. The glass-enclosed main reading room is raised up and set between the two lateral wings of the library, which allow light to filter through from both sides, forming a gateway into the public space. This courtyard, with its trees, earthen paving, sitting areas, games, etc. can be understood as an extension of the library’s reading rooms. The senior citizens center extends along a side of the interior patio further defining the reclaimed space.

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