Organizing authority:
Municipality of Milan

Arch. Nicola Isetta
Arch. Paola Rebellato
Arch. Miriam Balestra

Asia Faganello

NIA library 1974 m²

2018 February – competition first phase

The competition area is subject of profound transformations that will make it an important point of attraction not only for the district of Lorenteggio but for the entire city of Milan. The redesign of the park and the urban framework provided for the project have two fundamental prerequisites. First of all, in a long-term strategic vision, the project must take into account that the completion of the M4 to the north and the connection with the new cycle path to the south will create a strong axis that will cross the park. In this perspective our choice is to eliminate the fences that currently fragment the area. The new Library must be reached by public transport, by bicycle or by foot and not by car. A new cycle path together with a pedestrian path cross the park from via Giambellino to via Lorenteggio, from south to north.

The library is connected to the surrounding context in order to act as a point of attraction for people; the new cycle path and the pedestrian path pass through the building, which becomes an extension of the external public space. The use of library spaces will radically change, moving towards multimedia and digital, from "hardware" to "software". The values ​​that prophetically Italo Calvino had identified as fundamental for the new millennium in his "Six Memos for the Next Millennium" are the starting point of our project. The lightness and exactitude of the architecture, the visibility of the spaces, the quickness of use and the multiplicity of supports and themes, together with transparency and flexibility compose the picture that best represents the characteristics of the library of the future. The building is on two floors, the first floor, light and transparent, protrudes on three sides creating a portico to the east, south and west. This last part is the center of gravity of the project where the pedestrian square is inserted into the north-south axis of the park and "enters" the library. The ground floor, glazed and permeable for a quick use, houses the FORUM area whose purpose is to attract the public into building: the space is developed in flexible functional areas, open and visible. The entrance sector is in the central area, in a large double-height space that connects the exterior with the interior. There are accesses on all four fronts of the building, in this way no front is secondary. On the first floor are the LIB area and the LAB area. The open shelving area overlooks the entrance area in order to have maximum visibility, the study rooms are accessible from the open shelving area and are located south in a separate and quieter environment but still visible thanks to glass partitions. The administration offices and the LAB area develop around the courtyard to the east, above the pedestrian square.