Architect: Andrés Perea
Location: Historical City
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports developed a public state library in Santiago de Compostela, convoking a public competition, in April 2001, which was won by Andrés Perea.
The new library is located at the end of Avenida Xoán XXIII, in contact with the historical city and in the surroundings of the San Martín Pinario and San Francisco monasteries. The building is imbedded in the hillside, cutting it with an 11-metre-high retaining wall, above which a sinuous back façade rises up and adapts to the area's complex land division. This irregular shape is used to house a secondary stairway and a services centre. Towards the avenue, coinciding with the views of Monte Pedroso, in the same direction as the Cathedral's main façade, the building shows an all-glass surface that reveals its inner layout. This coincides with the pattern of its longitudinal cross section, barely hidden by a series of horizontal metallic strips that play and blend with the woodwork divisions.
The rectangle of the main elevation is a large showcase facing the landscape, which shows the movement and action of the deposit of books that will vibrate with activity, due to the main circulations on display through the glass wall. The form of this extensive transparent skin is shaped by the white concrete surface that encloses the library laterally, rounding off the upper corners and outlining a contained upper undulation that highlights the piece's monumental vocation and formally reinforces its contemporary nature.