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Caldaro Community Library

Emerging in Dialogue with the Context

Walter Angonese | Schiefer Tscholl

Caldaro Community Library
By Francesco Pagliari -

The new library in the little town of Caldaro, near Bolzano in Italy’s Trentino Alto Adige (South Tyrol) Region, tackles the question of public space as the essential expression of a community’s sense of identity and a key element of the urban fabric conducive to mediation and exchange. In-depth study and research by the designers into the particular environment and its inherent values have here produced a program that successfully blends contemporary forms into a traditional urban and natural setting. Sited at the edge of the old town, the building creates an evident link between the dense historic center and its immediate outskirts, a mix of urbanization and the vineyards of this famous wine district. Although a landmark building on account of its highly distinctive geometry, the library nonetheless sits comfortably in its urban setting. Rather than slipping unobserved into its context, it dialogues with its surrounds, putting itself forward as the latest addition to a multi-faceted community built up down the years, which, inevitably, is a medley of multifarious parts. References to local typologies are nonetheless evident. The traditional steeply pitched roofs are echoed by the contemporary geometry of the library’s ample roof, which, however, turns into a long terrace with sweeping views over the countryside, creating a link between the architecture and its context. Not only conducive to reading and conversation, this communal terrace creates a tangible sense of place, of being part of a wider whole. Deliberately conspicuous yet part of its setting, the broad white surfaces are complemented by equally ample windows, rendered even more emphatic by large protective overhangs. The library is a perfect example of consequential contemporary architecture, which after metabolizing the relevant urban features of the site, reworks and transforms them to produce new meaning. The brilliantly white ceramic-clad walls are an excellent example. The...

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© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054