2012 Kevin CravatteKevin Cravatte - Book Store University of Liège
This bookstore project that is planned by the University of Liège is established in one of its nicest campus sites in a way that is at the same time environment-friendly and easy to spot. Between nature and student life, the building is the symbol of its function. Its positioning and the setting of the public space connect it to the existing buildings and create equipment diversity that matches the project identity and materiality.
The program combines a double function of book storage (air-conditioned and dark) and book processing with a reading space for the students. The building visually expresses these two strong symbolic elements:
1_ The wooden box for the storage
2_ The “glass ribbon” that represents the route of the book in the building, from its arrival, through its processing, to its reading.
The wooden openwork casing, besides its symbolic role, creates a homogenous veil that covers functions that are initially very much different from each other. It also plays an important role from a climate point of view. Finally, through its mobility, it animates the side of the building facing the public space, thus expressing the dynamism of the student activity inside the building.
The third structural element is the central concrete core that, visually and physically, links the different functions and the different floors of each function. It contains functions that are strategically placed such as the lobby, a snack-bar, etc, but also the vertical circulation (lifts) and the technical piping.
Like a ribbon, the students’ path around the core unrolls as they move from one area to the next, creating each time a different rapport to the site in line with the function they go through. The spaces are succeeding to each other in a hierarchical way, from the most crowded/loud to the more restricted/calm ones.

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