According to the architect Alfonso Femia, architecture is a device for eliciting feeling. For this reason, the new library in La Spezia, designed by Femia himself with 5+1AA in an old twentieth-century warehouse (the area that once used to belong to Fitram, the local public transport company), aims to offer an immersive experience stimulating a sense of research and discovery, fully represented by reading as a tool for remaining free.
The intervention redesigns and revitalises the building (listed as an artefact of industrial archeology) by inserting a parallelepiped carved out inside of it and similar to the outline of a kinescope, which is located on the façade of the entrance and today is the iconic element of the new library.
The project is dominated by two elements: colour, which gives energy to the complex with respect for the context; light, which defines the spaces, indicating a path where imagination is the protagonist and introduces the readers to the magic of books.
Photography: ©S.Anzini, L.Boegly.