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"It is one of the most beautiful libraries in France", says the French Minister of Culture, Audrey Azoulay

The new library Alexis de Tocqueville situated in Caen-la-Mer, France is designed by the award winning architect Rem Koolhaas from the renowned international architect studio OMA. The library was officially opened by the French Minister of Culture, Audrey Azoulay on 13th January 2017. She was almost lost for words upon seeing this magnificent library and stated “that it was one of the most beautiful libraries in France”.

With a total area of 12 000 m² spread out on 4 levels, the building is located facing the Saint-Pierre lake in Caen. Open from east to west and with its generous natural lighting thanks to its fully transparent and unobstructed horizontal opening, the building has been designed to resemble an urban forum.

The glass façade links the park on one side with the pedestrian area on the other side and the two large entrances on both sides create a connection and an interaction with the surrounding area. The library’s key position, being placed in between the historical part and the new district of the town, has met the citizen’s request for a new, central meeting point.

In the shape of a cross, the library houses 4 sections: arts in the east wing, social sciences in the south, literature in the west and sciences and technical sciences in the north. It will also offer new services, in particular an auditorium, exhibition areas, a cafe/restaurant and much more.

The library aims to be innovative by offering new and improved services to meet new user’s expectations and turn the library into users’ second home.

In cooperation with the architects, BC Intérieur has supplied and installed all specific furniture such as the shelving systems, browsers, showcases, displays and info points.

The integration of various types of media has been one of the focus points for the new library. BC Intérieur has also been involved in this process by supplying customized furniture to accommodate not only the 120,000 documents but also digital media.  

This project in Caen-la-Mer is one of the most ambitious projects in which BC Intérieur has had the pleasure and the honour to participate in.

Photos supplied by Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti and Philippe Ruault

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