After years of renovations commencing in 2011, the National Library of France in Paris was unveiled. We are particularly drawn to the complexity of the project bravely taken on by architects Bruno Gaudin and Virginie Bregal. The project’s objective to update the building, constructed in 1869, for the growing visitor population and to update the site for modern building regulation posed a mammoth challenge.
What most inspires us is how well the renovations keep the integrity of the library while introducing a spirited lightness to the space.A detailed thought process is the wellspring of great design. The architects conducted thorough studies on historical materials to execute the best practices in integrating modern materials such as aluminum, steel and LEDs.
Interestingly, Gaudin and Bregal decided to strip the flooring in areas of the library to expose the earlier structural updates from the 1930s. The revealing of the materials and additions of airy glass walkways beautifully weaves together the evolution of the institution.
The story of the library will continue to unfold as the second phase of renovations is not set to be completed until 2020. We’ll stay tuned.