Chilean architect Sebastian Irarrazaval designed this spectacular new public library in the city of Constitución, Chile, using almost 100 percent locally-sourced wood. The Constitución Public Library is part of the rebuilding efforts of the small seaside town that was severely devastated by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the area in 2010.
Constitución is located on the edge of Chile’s many forestry plantations and as such, was the natural choice for sourcing the project’s materials, and several of the town’s talented carpenters worked with Irarrazaval to construct the beautiful wooden library.
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With the exception of exposed concrete firewalls, the entire building is constructed with prefabricated laminated pine.
The expansive interior space is light and airy, with numerous Zen-like nooks and crannies for local bibliophiles. To create a welcoming reading space, the architect eschewed the typical dark somber atmosphere found in many public libraries, choosing wooden walls and pillars varnished with a cool water-white stain. Wooden beams are visible throughout the interior, again paying homage to the city’s long lifeline of wood production.