Ricardo Porro

La Source, Bibliothèque, Villeneuve d'Ascq, 1979-1980

For this project, designed in collaboration with Philippe Louguet, Jean Robien and Jean-François Dechoux, the idea for the form of the building was born out of the encounter of a symbol and a difficult site. The library had to be built next to a cube-shaped theater in beveled concrete. In order to ensure a cohesive ensemble and free enough space to create a small square, Ricardo Porro designed a part of the library to abut the theater. He then deployed dove-shaped wings – a symbol of knowledge – extending from either side of the entrance which housed the administrative offices and the record library. On the other side of the building, the library opens onto the park. The two parts of the construction represent mountains; the roofs are shaped like a book and a torrent flowing into a whirlpool. The symbol of the river rushing down the mountains and plunging into the ground brings coherence to the composition as a whole.

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