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The construction of the new multimedia library of Montauban is spearheading an urban renewal project in the eastern quarters of the city. It must mark the entrance to the city, providing an identity to these neglected neighborhoods while still representing the city of Montauban. In parallel it is a project of reinvention: in these times of the digitalization of knowledge, the challenges of such a design are of spatialization and of materialization of the information and its division. This is the "third place" between domestic space and work space.
The field of influence of the future multimedia library is bordered and cut by roads whose geometries are marked by history. The interpretation of the program resulted in dividing it into three equivalent parts: a citizens' forum, a large reading space that invites discovery and meetings, and rooms for reading and working. By superimposing these three programmatic entities, placing the last level obliquely so that it shares its diagonal with the two lower floors, and linking them by triangulation, we generate an interior spatiality that responds to the architectural brief and a volume that addresses all the geometries of the site. The triangulation uses the geometry of the recent urbanization, marking the northern part of the lands.
By means of the initial geometric manipulation, the interiors of the media library come into resonance with the city. The interior spaces are free from any bearing point: a total flexibility of use is assured.
The building is draped with a coat of terra cotta, a tribute to the brick architecture characteristic of Montauban. Only the large panes of glass on those floors with reading tables pierce this unusual block of terra cotta. The treatment of the outdoor spaces with tinted concrete evokes the cobbled sidewalks of the old town.

Client: City of Montauban
Budget: € 7,900,000 excluding all tax
Net floor area: 3 800 sqm 
Architects agents > CFA
Project Manager > Géraud Pin-Barras
Team > Ulrich Faudry, Yann Follain
Mission > base + exe partial + CPB + furniture
Engineering firms > Structure: Group Alto - Fluids and HQE: INEX - Economy: Bureau Michel Forgue - HHT: ATPI - Acoustics: Jean-Paul Lamoureux - Landscaping: D Landscape - Lighting: SB.RB
Beginning of studies: project competition winner, 2005
Delivery date: February 2013
Thematic spaceS of consultation, cafeteria, auditorium 120 seats, showroom, carpark
Sustainable developpment:
HEQ program
- Selection of construction procedures and products: use of certified material
- Construction site with minimal environmental nuisances 
- Economic energy management: dual-flow air handling units with heat recovery system – bioclimatic design of the envelope
- Hygrothermal comfort
- Acoustic comfort
Photos: Paul Raftery

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