European Library for Information and Culture, Milan (Italy)

The Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC) shares its architectural features with some of the largest libraries in the world. The aim of the library is to make a large number of major humanistic and scientific works freely available to the public; these works date back as far as to antiquity up until to contemporary age. Multimedia tools and paths facilitate in depth interdisciplinary studies. The new BEIC in Milan is an effective reading education tool tailored to the needs of the twenty-first century. The library will be able to meet the need for information and dissemination of culture of a metropolitan area of more than 7 million citizens. 900,000 books will be directly available in its reading rooms, while other 1,200,000 books will be archived in the basement. The initiative was promoted by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Lombardy Region, the Municipality and the Province of Milan, the University of Milan, the Politecnico di Milano, the Association “Milano Biblioteca del 2000″ and Fondazione Cariplo. The library will be built in the eastern part of Milan, in the area formerly occupied by the Porta Vittoria railway station.

The linear lot follows the shape of the old station. The rectangular building is a block of 36 metres with two side entrances to the east and the west, connected to the urban road network with ramps that will serve as both a park and urban forum. It is possible to cross the lot also when the library is closed through the walkways to the north. Large windows on the eastern and western façades act as a filter between the inside of the library and the city. From the hall it is possible to see the various departments located in the galleries on the building’s three floors, which overlook the Forum. The reading rooms are located on the northern side of the Forum, while rooms to consult materials, organised around light wells, are located in the eastern part of the complex and are connected to the “Spazio Giovani”. Conference rooms, an educational centre, a media-forum and a parking lot are located in the basement. Laboratories and administrative offices are located inside the linear body at street level on Via Monte Ortigara.

Client

Fondazione BEIC

Period

2006/07

Amount

€ 150.000.000

Project

olles & Wilson, Muenster (Germania)