Beatriz Borque + Miquel Mariné Children’s Area of the Nou Barris Library

Architect: Beatriz Borque BadenasArchitect: Miquel Mariné NúñezPhotography: Adrià GoulaLocation: Barcelona, SpainYear: 2024
Date: June 17, 2024

The new children’s space at the Nou Barris Library is a prototype to be developed in the children’s spaces of Barcelona’s libraries. The space is conceived as a constellation of new elements that open the door to using the space freely, while stimulating children’s autonomy and capacity for self-discovery. We find reading and lounging areas as well as exhibition spaces and the library’s own storage area. Within this constellation of elements, some directly offer virtual content, such as computer tables or projection screens.

The organization of the elements allows for the creation of different atmospheres in the general environment through variation in scale, lighting, textures, etc., enhancing the variability of usage among users. Sensory experiences play an important role in the space as a basic learning tool. The different atmospheres are always conceived from the conquest of the space itself and the constant creation of relational bonds between people and culture.

The materials themselves convey information and allow for experimentation. There are noble materials as well as more innovative ones to make the furniture itself an object of study while also providing support for reading. These materials simultaneously create a comfortable environment within the library space, especially in terms of acoustics and lighting.

The uniform chromaticism of the elements and the surrounding area give visibility to the specific content proposed by the library team. The space is a blank canvas where different accidents, corners, or elements can lead to new imaginaries, especially within the child’s mind, thus avoiding a space of overly obvious attractions.

The constellation of elements is tailored to children aged 0 to 12, with some more suitable for younger children and others for almost adolescent children; however, they always allow for and enhance a transversal crossing between the different age groups.

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