The City Sailing Library contributes a primarily civic structure to the marina in Valencia, Spain, drawing a greater number of visitors to a currently disconnected part of the El Cabanyal district.
The library’s diverse programme intends to attract a broad variety of users. A book swap scheme, in lieu of a traditional lending scheme, offers visitors by boat and tourists an opportunity to take books away, whilst a series of collections and facilities associated with sailing, accompanied by boat rental and exhibition spaces, provide a pull from the city centre to the marina.
A strong association with boats and the water’s edge continues throughout the building, emphasising a connection between the site and the building’s ethos. This connection between inside and outside worlds is important for the library, acting as a symbolic, civic space for the community.
A focus was placed on drawing natural light into the space, and the varying spatial qualities which could be created as a result. A series of screens allow for both the modulation of the sun’s glare and natural ventilation: important factors to consider in the warm Spanish climate.
The proposal’s concrete and timber construction responds visually to the rusty tones discovered as a result of atmospheric salt corrosion, and structurally to the contextual concrete structures observed during the site visit.