goedefroo + goedefroo

06.09.2018

Architectuurboek vlaanderen 13

Linking the new library with the existing town hall, Zuidboulevard gives a contemporary response to an urban planning scar. The glass fa├žades of the library draw the urban life of the streets beyond inwards, while gentle slopes, formed as an inverted ziggurat, lead visitors to the heart of the building. An intimate landscape of books unfolds.

The public library is the cornerstone of a new development in the centre of Waregem and connects the ring road with the street leading directly to the city centre. The project was a partnership between a developer and the city government, the aim of which was to inject new dynamism into the city centre.

Positioned on a new square, the cantilevered roof of the library overhangs the public space, providing shelter and reinforcing its identity as a meeting place. A portico on the ground floor of a new housing block opposite connects both the housing and library to the new Zuidboulevard, which links to an existing theatre, a shopping centre and the city hall.

The library is a social space where people of all ages gather, read and study. Daily life is reflected discretely through the surrounding windows into the silent space of reading rooms and bookshelves.

The project succeeded in satisfying the needs of the inhabitants while simultaneously increasing the density of the quarter. In order to deliver a project of high architectural quality within a constrained budget, the architects designed an austere single storey building with a large component situated underground.