Learning Center, Strasbourg
The new building replaces the existing Blaise Pascal library, which has become outdated. Its compact trapezoidal shape is lightened by the curved facades. At the northeast corner of the site, the curve of the shape creates a small wooded courtyard. This is where the cafeteria is based, facing the boulevard de la Victoire. Above a row of half-sunken shops, the six upper floors are entirely glass-fronted. Three levels contain the library reading rooms with large open spaces full of natural light, some of which are double-height. A wide terrace facing the city offers a pleasant place to take a break. The roof terrace is accessible to users and echoes the terrace below.
Around the periphery of the building, low arcades form a peristyle demarcating a protected area by the entrance and cafeteria. This covered passage acts as an intermediate public space between the road and the interior, offering coherence to the building as a whole. The façade is divided horizontally into three sections, punctuated by props for the glass panels.
In the central section, the reading space is visible from the street. While asserting a strong identity worthy of a public amenity, the Learning Center does not conjure up images of a ›temple of knowledge‹. In fact, thanks to the wealth of interactions it creates with the urban space, it conveys a sense of transparency and a message that knowledge should be available to all.
Client: Unistra (université de Strasbourg)
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller with Rey Lucquet et associés
Area: 8.600 m²
building engineering: Serue Ingénierie, Schiltigheim / Gaudin Ingénierie, Saint-Herblain / acoustics: ESP, Strasbourg / V8 Designers, Strasbourg