NEW ST. GALLEN LIBRARY, 2021
The floor plan reveals a surprisingly simple solution for the new building: expose the heritage-protected building and add a layer for vertical access. Two oblongs set along the lot boundaries create the necessary potential for usable space. These new parts fit together effortlessly to form a triangular shape, with the slender front pillars of the wedges facing the market square. This natural refiguring results in a new and distinctive orientation of the marketplace. The city flows around the new building on all sides.
The appearance of the new library conveys three points:
· the stone arcades of the ground floor provide a dependable link to urban life;
· the silver shimmer of the building that rises above heralds what is yet to come;
· the cantilevered flat gable roof that clasps the shimmering block communicates a confident familiarity with the city’s uniqueness.
The ground floor is made of polished precast concrete elements—a solid urban layer. A filigree structure of vertical bars and sloping sunshade nets form the silvery façades above. Sparkling in the light, the structure is sensitive to the existing surroundings, revealing the library to be an outstanding public building in the heart of the city.