Ilhavo City Library & Chapel by ARX

The Ilhavo City Library, designed by ARX, preserve and integrate the proportion and elegance of the old masonry.

From the building, located on the periphery of the town, only the main facade, oriented southeast, and the chapel, both in ruins, were left.

The limits of the manor and the line of the old facade were chosen as an anchorage point, where administrative areas and programs compatible with the facade’s rhythm were placed, restoring the character of the original building. There is a clear identification of the new, which exists in symbiosis with the pre-existence.

The concept behind the rest evolves from an understanding of the public and civic character of the building, whose urban role was reinforced. The design of the reading rooms an youth forum, external to the manor, establish direct morphological relations with the surroundings.

The chapel, deprived of its most important decorative element, like tiles, woodwork, tomb stones and furniture was restored in essence preserving all possible evidence of its lost past. The furniture and the new altar panels by Pedro Calapez, were designed in an unequivocally contemporary style.

Via Below The Clouds

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