Antonio Castro Leal Library

Location: Mexico
Architects: Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta, Luis Enrique Mendoza
Collaborators: José Barreto, Christian Santillano, Ivan Rey Martínez, Alejandra Aguirre, Edgar González, Mariana Ruiz, Homero González, Raymundo Alonso, Ramón Álvarez (maqueta)
Photography: Jaime Navarro
Year: 2012

City of the Books and the Image. Library “Antonio Castro Leal” The library located in two bays at the north side of the north-west patio of the Ciudadela historical building, was created to place Antonio Castro Leal’s personal library. Conceived as a transparent area in which the bookcases are attached on the walls to full height, creating a contrast between the vertical elements in dark wood and the horizontal planes (floors) in light wood, translucent glass and the furniture in white. Despite the open space nature of the project, one can distinguish four different areas: the reception, the teamwork area, personal reading area and the research area. The modular solution for each component responds to the placement of structural metal beams of the catalan-vault ceiling on the original building while the hallways are 
suspended from these elements by light and thin stainless steel round bars. The railings are continuous and articulate the changes of direction while showing themselves as an independent, non-structural elements. Each bookcase panel has on its edge an uninterrupted led strip that illuminates each book as they seem to vibrate in space. The simple and modular bookcases get complemented with the special ironwork details of the railings, tables and chairs designed specifically for the project. An integral solution from industrial design to architecture, taking as a reference Castro Leal's personal library at his home in Coyoacan. The result is a project of a simple language of clean gestures, warm and comfortable to the visitor.