Main _ Sofia Future library competition


Future library


PLACE: Università degli studi of Genova
YEAR: 2019
STATUS: Unbuilt



Astronauts, doctors, scientists, and physicists of the future will be trained by spending a lot of time in the learning, cultural and knowledge atmosphere.

The most important and iconic place is the library.

This is why astronauts, doctors, physicists and why not robots populate our idea for this project, a future library.

We thought about which could be the new rules that would guide the design of the libraries of the future, and we asked ourselves some questions: how will the spaces change? What will be the new types of physical and non-physical elements that a future library should have? Will there still be room for books?

We tried to answer these questions by designing a modern, innovative, experimental, and audacious future library, which faces the future needs and problems.

The remaining dimension with which the library of the future must face is the one that deals with creative actions and collective confrontation since the most modern technologies have made liquid knowledge by freeing it from the materiality of books. However, they have not broken down the wall of social relationships.

The keywords are not “lines, books, materiality” but “curves, touch screens and colours”.

Everything is planned and designed for the creative stimulation of the library user through form, colour, and flexibility.

The whole project is regarded as being aseptic and immaterial. It is by the LEDs that they will have some colour, which adapts to the nature of the moment.

The curve is the fundamental form of our project because it best expresses the fluidity of space.

To achieve this purpose, it was necessary to cover the existing structural part of the area through a series of curved elements such as the slatted wall “Sharing ideas”, the “Visual connection wall” and the south wall, and the capsules “Easy talk”.

Finally, the main room is completely composed of flexible and removable elements. The capsules are internally designed as a seed of knowledge, whereas externally, they can be transformed into projection screens.

The main space is therefore not fixed and static but mobile and dynamic. The same spaces can be used at the same time for different purposes, such as the seats in the main area that, following the appropriate guides on the floor can be moved to serve any functional need.


The future library is open to all students and not from the University of Genoa; thanks to the flexibility of the spaces it is possible to study alone in the “studying oasis”, in groups in the “studying pods” for 2-4 people (slatted wall), in groups and isolated in one of three capsules with studying pod for max 6 people or alternatively relax in the appropriate area, connect to the “Visual connection wall” to explain and show something, get the latest news on the world or take part at a video conference in the main room.


To imagine the library of the future, we should first imagine the future and be sure that this is the product of the choices we make in the present.

The use of materials within the project is always aimed at sustainability and lowering the costs of processing and transporting the material.

The panels that compose the slatted wall are made of recycled and 3D printed ABS resins.

The most modern companies have introduced ABS injection resins from non-running-cars: thanks to mechanical recycling, the new products offer benefits in environmental terms that show savings of 2.1 tonnes of C02, which is equal to each tonne of ABS produced with a 2/3 carbon footprint compared to a virgin ABS.


The entire area of the project enjoys both natural and artificial light; the main area keeps the ribbon window on the slatted wall.

It has mobile darkening systems, and the light is filtered by the ABS panels that act both as a support for the study areas (being themselves the tables of the studying pods) and as bris soleil cushioning the natural light.

The main area is also equipped with a system of high energy saving LEDs that covers almost the entire ceiling. The LEDs are modulated to favour a dynamic and iridescent effect of the cover, so that they can change colour to generate different environments based on the nature of what happens below them.


The main area is equipped with all the audio-visual systems necessary for a complete and modern use of a future library. The “Visual connection wall” is equipped with interactive and touch screens that allow a better learning, an improvement of the creative experience and a connection of the main room with the rest of the world, and architectural openings between the main area and the “studying oasis”.

The projectors point directly on the shells of the capsules that can become the background for projections, for meetings, video conferences or seminars. There are audio systems connected to the projectors and special mixers with their lights at the corners of the room for a complete sound coverage.


Even though many aspects of the library of the past are disappearing to make room for new spaces, new technologies and new certainties, there is one aspect that remains unchanged when we consider the future: the possibility of being in complete silence.

The soundproofing of the main room is ensured by the construction of the “Visual connection wall” that protects it. The “Visual connection wall” is composed of ABS panels on both sides, where there are two sound absorbing layers of 5 cm of rockwool, water repellent and produced with at least 80% of recycled glass that promotes high performance in the field of soundproofing. Between the two panels a considerable volume of air that favours the final soundproofing remains there.

Also, the capsules enjoy both internal and external soundproofing: the curved movable panels are made by two layers of curved ABS with a 6 cm layer of rockwool inside. The capsule is also equipped with ventilation systems.


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