Gabriel García Márquez

Sant Martí is one of Barcelona's 10 districts which includes a diverse range of activities and people. The city council recently completed the building of a large neighbourhood library which was devised to be a community hub as much as a traditional library. 

The architects, Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevillano of SUMA Arquitectura, created a stunning, imposing building full of bright light and open spaces, even complete with a glass fronted garden with lush vegetation, giving the local community an oasis of calm elegance within a frantic, densely built-up city.

We created a light signage system for it that mimics folded paper and adapts to the different spatial elements throughout the building. It is a system that respects an architectural project defined by light, open space and visible wood.

We used a subtle, thin, black on white, geometric typography produced from the same materials and finishes that are present throughout the building: pieces of folded aluminum for the directories; large letters which become more or less visible depending on the angle they are seen from; origami animals for the children's area and wooden 3D signs.

The building's exterior resembles a stack of books and, to complement this idea, the library's name and a quotation from its eponymous author were painted in black onto the white aluminum sheets.


Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevillano
Suma Arquitectura

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