The Laudense Library in Lodi, in Palazzo di San Filippo, has a wealth of wonderful books. It was recently restored and upgraded by Angelo Micheli from the aMDL architectural practice, creating a series of multipurpose cultural spaces that include, in addition to the actual library, internet areas, a literary café, a newspaper room, a music room and a cinema hall.
The key to this design was finding solutions to combine the building’s baroque architecture with the need to have rooms and furnishings where the library collection could be displayed, conserved and used by people of all ages.
The Biblioteca dei Filippini room, on the first floor, is dominated by wooden bookcases and provided the inspiration for how the architecture and furnishings could be unified. It was Paolo Castelli that, on the ground and first floors, implemented this idea, providing ad hoc solutions for various rooms.
In the Sala dei Notai room, home to the 19th-century collection, two levels of wooden and metal panelling were used, separated by a balcony.
The corridors that connect the reading and work rooms are lined with bookcases. The use of light coloured oak contrasts with the dark metal of the internal vertical partitions and the shelves, producing a simultaneous sense of strength and lightness that foregrounds the books, which are the real protagonist here.
The same wood was chosen for the desks and chairs in various rooms, and it is also the dominant element in the children’s area, where it is combined with the bright colours of the plastic chairs and the metal shelves. The tables are also oak, although the tops will be made of sheets of white paper, inviting children to write and draw freely.
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