Tarnos Médiathèque, France

Public libraries / Completed 2010

Integrated shelving inspires the eye

The town council of Tarnos was looking for an area to build the new town library. Luckily, a member of the local community decided to donate a piece of land to the Municipality, but her request was that the area be used for a public garden.


The architects found a way to satisfy the request of the donor by partly using the roof of the library to create a public garden. The trees in the glass boxes inside the library are a part of the garden on the roof top. Furthermore, there is an exterior staircase in the middle of the building giving easy access to the garden.


Due to the building being placed into a slope, the architects have made the exterior of the building transparent with large sections of windows allowing the light to flood in. The interior of the library is dominantly white, with a line of oak in the floor crossing through the entire library. Only the seating and a couple of carpets bring a splash of colour to the interior.


In certain areas the shelving was adapted to fit perfectly inside open alcoves, integrating air-condition and electrical installations.