The V.F.Xira Municipal Library is located on the north bank of the Tagus River, on the site formerly occupied by a rice mill, hence its name “Factory of Words”. The volumetric characteristics of the old factory, the proximity of the Tagus River, a broader concept of the functions of a library and finally the desire to build an effectively usable equipment for the local population, were the most crucial concepts in conceiving this library. In this sense, Miguel Arruda Arquitectos Associados went beyond the traditional reading and media consultation areas of more formal or casual character (newspapers or magazines) outside the areas considered of significant size for children, cafeteria and exhibition hall. They also designed a multipurpose space on the ground floor that can be used as an auditorium. In order to be able to contribute to a greater and more effective relation of users with the space, the different floors are overlapped in an intentionally staggered manner in order to ensure a clear visual contact between them. This overlap draws a markedly vertical void that becomes the reference element in the spatial concept of the library.
Info and images © Miguel Arruda Arquitectos Associados
The 'Factory of Words' sits on the place of a former rice mill