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This bold and dynamic learning environment becomes a campus crossroads encouraging transparency, engagement, and collaboration

Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey New Main Library

Client
Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey
Location
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Size
183,000 SF
Certifications
LEED庐 Gold certification
Services
Architecture
Status
Completed August 2017
Awards
Fast Co. Innovation by Design Awards, Honorable Mention鈥擲paces, Places, and Cities category
Fast Co. Innovation by Design Awards, Finalist鈥擝est Design North America category
Boston Society of Architects, Honor Awards for Design Excellence, Award
American Institute of Architects New England Design Awards, Honor Award
XV National and International Biennial of Mexican Architecture, Honorable Mention
International Interior Design Association, Latin America Design Awards, Higher Education Category
American Library Association/International Interior Design Association, Library Interior Design Awards, Academic Libraries – Over 30,000 Sq. Ft.

Sasaki initially worked with Tecnol贸gico de Monterrey, a leading university in Monterrey, Mexico, to transform their original 1969 library building into a more relevant and collaborative academic hub. During the course of the study, it was discovered that the building was in need of significant seismic upgrades that would be cost prohibitive and would severely limit program development. The University then asked the team to collaborate with them to design a building that will become the leading academic library in Mexico.

The new library, situated on the site of the previous library at the center of the historic campus precinct, needed to accommodate a much larger building program in the same footprint as the old building. This location would help preserve the historic landscapes of the Jardin de las Carreras and the University鈥檚 Founders Memorial Plaza, which bookend the library site to the East and West.

Programmatically, the building had to house 150,000 existing book volumes, combine two special collections libraries, including the notable Cervantina collection, create new teaching laboratories, and provide much needed study space for individuals and groups in the form of a learning commons, collaborative study space, reading rooms, and individual study and research spaces. Other programs included student life spaces, food and beverage outlets, a makerspace, and the University bookstore.

The transparent new building structure sits at the heart of the campus like a treehouse in the middle of the campus forest. Channeling two major pedestrian arteries of the campus, the building is lifted from the ground, creating a large shaded plaza for the campus. The plaza is activated by the student life-related programs located in the spaces that touch down on the ground level.

In contrast with the introverted old library, the building turns itself inside out, making its programs visible and accessible from the outside. Its circulation originates at the covered plaza, and reaches into the library via stairs and escalators lining the outdoor courtyard at the building鈥檚 center. Movement throughout the library is fluid, unfolding both inside and outside the building; multiple routes allow visitors to meander and discover its programs and spaces.

To facilitate flexibility over time, the design features an open floor plan layout; floor-high belt trusses support the building鈥檚 floor plates, freeing spaces of columns at critical areas, and tying together the vertical cores and fa莽ade perimeter. Cantilevers reaching 60 feet in length help suspend the building over the covered plaza. Double-height spaces with alternating mezzanines create diagonal views across the interior courtyard, displaying people and activities at every level.

One of the large collaborative spaces is populated by 鈥渂ook boxes鈥濃攓uiet study and meeting rooms lined inside and out by books. Terraces above the boxes serve as lounges for meeting and relaxation. The discovery sequence around the library culminates at its sky terrace facing the Jardin de Las Carreras. This space provides a unique vista of the campus forest, the city and Monterrey鈥檚 most iconic background: the Cerro de la Silla mountain.

This project received LEED Gold certification in 2018.

For more information contact Pablo Savid-Buteler.

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