Stockholm Embassy of Finland
The international invited design competition of the university’s library was published in 1997, for the 700th anniversary of the University of Lleida.
The new campus of the University of Lleida is located in the immediate vicinity of the city centre, on the River Serge. The L-shaped library at the corner of the block forms a gateway to the university, and the tall arcade with its café is a meeting place for the academic community and local residents. The library’s oblique angle corner follows the area’s diagonal pedestrian routes and opens up a sectoral vista from the library towards the city.
The floor area of the building is 12500 m2 comprising library facilities as well as teaching facilities, an auditorium seating 325, foyer and groupwork facilities. The exhibition area on the ground floor opens out towards the pool surrounding the auditorium. Daylight filters into the three-storey library hall through a steel screen and is reflected from below via a mirror of water. The circular skylights balance the lighting of the hall.A separate wing houses the café-restaurant, stationery shop, facilities of the scientific societies and the top floor faculty club restaurant.
The design work was carried out as an architect-led traditional contract according to the Spanish convention. Construction work continues although a part of the library is already in use. The final completion of the library must await the completion of the entire campus, including Alavaro Siza’s adjacent Department of Pedagogy and Psychology.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 6/2004