Regional Library of Bizkaia, Bilbao, Spain

IMB Architects
Date Built
Completed 2007
Gresham and Noble Streets
The library comprises an older building dating from the 1920s and a new addition completed in 2007.  The site explains that, "... The origins of the Regional Library of Bizkaia can be found in the personal library of Fidel de Sagarminaga, a politician, writer and owner of an outstanding library of nearly 12,000 titles, on Basque themes. The Library, bursting at the seams due to lack of space, and outdated in its services, underwent a new overhaul, extension and conversion of the physical space in the 1980’s; however, the continuous growth of the rich bibliographical and newspaper collections once again pushed the facility to the limit of its capacity. As a consequence, an ambitious project for the extension and upgrading of the building was undertaken under the direction of IMB architects. The result was a Library adapted to the cultural reality of Bizkaia, providing new services to meet the challenges posed by the society of the 21st century. Opened after four years of construction, while at the same time, the building was never closed from the public."

The site says of the new construction that it, "... includes two new built up volumes. The first one, covered with stone, takes the administration in. The second one serves to store the books and is designed like a glass container which expresses and symbolizes the function of the new library to the city.