Architect David Serero from the Serero Architectes Urbanistes studio designed the new media library in Bayeux, completed in autumn 2019. The media library presents itself like a large urban showcase, revealing its function to the outside world and enticing passersby to step inside. At the same time, the library is a landscaped building surrounded by a garden, becoming the architectural link between Bayeux’s historic centre and the new urban development areas.
The project occupies an open green area located near an important road link between the historic city centre and the future development areas of the city. In order to organise the distribution of the different functions, architect David Serero started his project giving serious thought to the use of the media library. In particular, he chose to locate public spaces only on the ground floor, allowing easy access to the structure. Thanks to the transparency of the building, visitors of the media library who consult books and multimedia resources, feel as if they were immersed in a garden. To enhance this feeling, the ground floor was designed as an open platform. On this floor, the media library seems like a single large boundless space, yet organised in sub-spaces. Each sub-space is a 5 by 5 m module in which the architects arranged shelves, work tables, reading areas and containers. In order to brighten up the innermost spaces of the media library, a green patio measuring 10 x 10 m was built in the centre of the building.
The result is a highly transparent and simple space, in which users can easily orient themselves and access the works for which they are searching. The inside of the building is characterised by a precise hierarchy of the spaces, from the more open and noisy reception areas located in the north-east corner of the entrance, to the quieter spaces dedicated to reading or individual activities, and to the private and closed-off spaces used by the library's staff.
Natural light plays an important role in the design and each space has its own light sources: zenithal, from the central patio or from the north façade, through a metal mesh structure. This unique architectural element has technical functions, contributing to the thermal insulation of the building, both in summer and in winter, as well as acting as a filter, limiting the view on the reading areas from the outside. It also has an aesthetic function closely linked to the history of the city itself. The colours of the tubes composing the wire mesh recall the shades of the wool yarn with which the famous Bayeux Tapestry is embroidered. The façade becomes a tribute to the city and to this famed work, also known as Queen Matilda’s tapestry, which has made Bayeux world-renowned. The textile work is over 68 meters long and was woven and embroidered in the 11th century. Through its embroidery, the tapestry tells the story of the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
The green roof, conceived as a fifth façade, completes the media library, integrating skylights that ensure interior lighting and the natural ventilation of the spaces.
Images courtesy of Serero Architectes Urbanistes
Programme: Bayeux Media Library
Location: Bayeux, France
Client: Bayeux Intercom
Project management: Serero Architectes Urbanistes (lead architect, furnishing assignment, interior design), Pasquini (acoustics)
Surface: 2,550 m² (27,448 sq ft)
Date: 2016 - 2019
Photo credits: © Didier Boy de la Tour