A regional library with 2 million volumes and 4000 daily visitors is to be built along the ring road system in Guadalajara. The Library will be the main entry gate to a new cultural center with Cineplex, children's museum, congress center, housing and a large communal plaza. Our proposal illustrates the library as a suburban depot where knowledge and leisure are combined in a diverse cultural environment.


Open competition 2005


Jalisco City / Guadalajara University 

Project group:

Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter, Altiplano Arquitectura


Guadalajara, Mexico


40.000 m²


Arup London


Public building, Public space


The book collection is vertically organized by department to create a comprehensive thematic layout. It constitutes the "treasure cask"; five levels of "book pools" at the core of the building. Three large vertical light shafts penetrate the building to provide natural light and vertical visual connection, also revealing its precious content to ground level visitors.

The sunken pools are designed to create uncontested 5000m2 open floor plates that encourage browsing and navigation, allow maximum natural light, and ensure optimal conditions for staff activities and supervision. The reading areas and services surround and overlook the pools. Stairs and ramps take patrons down into the bookshelves areas.


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