Lateran University Library An Exterior Facade Architecture

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Lateran University Library An Exterior Facade Architecture

The library is arranged so that for every two floors of book stacks one sloping ramp, "U" shaped in plan, connects them. The book stacks are as low as possible to avoid the use of ladders to reach the highest shelves and, given the thin floor slab, are made look like a set of bookshelves themselves.

They are connected vertically by a staircase set between the containing wall and an interior façade of bookshelves facing the reading ramps dedicated to publications, to form in effect a book tower. The slope of the ramps is determined by joining the regularly spaced floors of the book stacks to the irregular cuts in the façade which creates the reality (not simply the effect) of volumes floating in light.

These ramps are the reading rooms- they are levelled with mahogany platforms that accommodate the reading tables at the level changes. These are also made of mahogany block-wood and house the up-lights for ambient lighting.