Diagonal, Gallarate


L.Maino civic library is a historical piece of architecture, located in Piazza San Lorenza, by Gallarate train station. Due to its central position in the urban fabric, one of the goals of the project is to upgrade its role as a new pole for the public life of the city, through an intervention of enlargement and requalification.

Inquadramento (tagliato)

Current state:

Concept: the intervention consists of adding a stereometric volume with a steel structure linked to the historical one, that will address new library functions. The connection between the old and new takes place in the linkage, which is shaped by the turning movement of the new building disposition.

Distribution system: The main entrance has been located in the east side of the building, through the use of a ramp, which leads to the former theater of the historical building, a double height space that becomes the distribution center for the new intervention. Primary and secondary entrances, all converge to this fulcrum, where lending area and reception functions are located, and from which one can reach the new consultation wing.

Functional distribution: the actual library functions will be placed in the expansion volume so it will address free consultation areas for children of every age, adults and specialized users. Furthermore, the new building will host study areas equipped with tables. In the ancient building, functions for the community have been reallocated, a bar will take place at the ground level and a conference room in the basement. In the former theater area, in addition to the reception, an overhanging glazed volume will host the historical archive.

The new expansion volume is placed perpendicularly to Via Ivrea, defining a new layout of the surrounding area of the library. Towards the street, it generates an elevated square where the main entrance and the bar take place. The disposition of the main facade of the intervention outlines a park that links Via Ivrea to Via Matteotti.


Inside the simple and regular volume of the new intervention, space is defined through the use of furniture. The hinge where old and new meet also works as a vertical distribution knot, hosting the staircase and the elevator. The preexisting building undergoes few changes, the main intervention consists in the new functional layout: in fact, it hosts all those functions that address the public, while the proper function of the library will take place in the new volume. This also makes the two buildings autonomous, allowing them to manage activities with independent timetables.






North facade is left as a blank wall, due to the small amount of light and to the presence of a thermal chimney that regulates the inner ventilation. The south facade is treated as a curtain wall instead, a completely glazed surface, whose light and thermal income are controlled through a directable brise soleil system. This solution made of mobile slats allows having a dynamic and variable facade, different at each hour of the day.

Prospetto A_1_Blu

Prospetto A_2

Prospetto A_8_blu

The transversal section shows the glazing volume placed on the double height space of the historical building. Moreover, it is shown the joint between the two buildings and the shed covering system that optimizes solar panel outcome and brings light inside.

Sezione S_2.pdf


Sezione S_10.pdf

Interiors views

Render 3

Render 4

Furniture: Inner space has been studied to be modulated following three layouts, according to the activities to be hosted. Modules are custom-made and built with industrial materials.
Schema arredo

+1: Children’s area

+++ free space  + concentration space  + intimate area  + library  ++ workshop area

R: study area, library 

+ free space  ++ concentration space  + intimate area  ++ library  +++ workshop area

-1: reading area, library

+ free space   +++ concentration space   +++ intimate area   +++ library   + workshop area

Climatic comfort: Specific components have been chosen in order to address climatic conditions, making the building a high energy performance one.

Schema solare

The brise soleil system on the south facade controls light and heat income, while the solar chimney on the north facade allows constant air exchange and ventilation during summer and has a pre-heating performance during winter. The roof allows the optimization of solar panels performance.
Sezione conpcept (con schemi)

External views

Vista 1

Vista 2


Alessandro Bellieni, Luca Pozzoni, George Huzum