AIA/ALA Library Awards
In León, Mexico, a white stone-and-glass-clad structure expresses monumental solidity while maintaining indoor-outdoor connectivity. A three-story pergola of white-painted steel covers a plaza and rooftop terrace, adding a rhythmic lightness to the composition. This is the new library designed by Pei Partnership Architects for the state of Guanajuato.
The building was recognized for outstanding library design by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association in the 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. From a small-town public library in Arkansas to an immense cultural complex in China, the award-winning eight libraries address many similar challenges, balancing transparency and modern library functional needs with a strong institutional presence.
State Library in Mexico
The Guanajuato State Library Wigberto Jiménez Moreno is the first building constructed toward Pei Partnership's master plan for the encompassing 9.6-hectare (24-acre) cultural forum.
Two primary stone-clad volumes connected by a two-story glass gallery compose the library, totaling 6,750 square meters (72,700 square feet). Providing access and visual connection, the gallery contains a grand staircase for vertical circulation, and connects to the central atrium in the taller structure. The glazing offers views of trees and gardens to those inside, and reveals the activity inside the library to passersby.
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