The building of the Monteiro Lobato Library was originally designed for the headquarters of the Brazilian Post and Telegraph Company and was renovated into its current use by MMBB Arquitetos.
Ph. Federico Cairoli
The project’s goal was to give value to the public facility so that it stands out in the city. The interventions aimed to recover the environmental conditions of the building, the square, and its surroundings. Electronic, hydraulic, and air conditioning installation systems were updated with more environmentally sound solutions. The over aim was to ensure comfort and safety conditions for users and the archive. The conditions and uses of the square’s surroundings were examined to strengthen the potential of the urban context in which the library is located.
On the ground floor, there is an open library that gives direct, public access to the general collection. The visitor is free to access the books and use the tables arranged throughout the room. All masonry walls and non-structural elements were demolished to form a single room filled with low and curvilinear bookshelves.
The entire façade is assembled with fixed glass panels that open only on the upper part. A screen panel was placed close to the glass for both mechanical protection and shade, like a brise soleil. The architects avoided the installation of fences around the perimeter of the lot, leaving the library open to the gardens and the city.
Ph. Federico Cairoli
There is also a concrete extension that was built as an attachment. In this new space, there is a multipurpose room and a café that can be accessed outside of the library’s opening hours. The second floor of the pre-existing building is reserved for private activities, such as the administrative spaces, the rare books collection, and the Braille reading rooms.
DATE: 2014 / LOCATION: São Bernardo, São Pablo, Brazil / AREA: m2 (built) / PROGRAM: library / STATUS: built / DESIGN: MMBB Arquitetos / TEAM: Maria João Figueiredo, Marta Moreira. Milton Braga, Adriano Bergemann, Cecília Góes, Gleuson Pinheiro, Guilherme Pianca, Lucas Vieira, Júlia Marques, Martin Benavidez / PHOTOS: Federico Cairoli