Location: Grândola, Portugal.

Architect: Pedro Matos Gameiro Arquitecto.

The new Library and Municipal Archive in Grândola, Portugal is located in the renovated Praça da República, which is now a peaceful and orderly square. The building is designed to be a reference point in the urban continuum and is accessed through a cloister that leads to a central courtyard. The galleries around the courtyard create paths that promote a gradual adjustment of scale and guide visitors around the gravel court and jacaranda tree. The building includes a reception space, common areas for exhibitions and presentations, a children’s reading room, archive areas, and an adult reading room that opens onto a balcony overlooking the square. The building’s abstract shape of thick walls and southern whiteness seeks to keep the mystery and build paths of discovery, like the books it contains. The building is designed to be clear, solid, and identifiable and to include it in the network of streets by creating a continuity between the forecourt drawn by the square and the interior spaces of the building. The space is geometrically established in the urban complex, determines the foundational place, and allows for the occurrence of the most diverse events, complementing and widening the scope of action of the reference program. The building is a beautiful addition to the city and a peaceful place for visitors to enjoy.

Photo credit: Francisco Nogueira.