Ghent Library
Ghent, BE / Competition
LLAC architects: C. Antipas, L. Liefooghe

The reading room of the library and the event space are located in the same place and have their own formal character and identity.
The reading room is a veiled space.
It is separated from the rest of the library and offers tranquillity and privacy without being completely cut off from its surroundings. It is surrounded by vertical filtering curtains. These 30cm wide strips of black felt, hang from ceiling to ground. Visitors can easily pass through the vertical stripes by moving them to one side with their hand. The felt absorbs noise from the library and filters light coming from the roof of the building. Behind the curtains, movements in the library are perceived as through a veil.

The event space is a black box, similar to a theatre space.
A black box is the most neutral place for a performance and can accommodate any scenography. It is black because it does not interfere with the lights of the theatre and black because it neutralizes its own spatiality. When the vertical slats of the reading room are closed, they transform into black felt walls. These walls create an indefinite and introverted space which can be used for many kinds of performance. Forming the ceiling of the box is a suspended structural grid on which spotlights and projectors can be fixed. The back of the box is formed by the north wall of the library to the edge of the patio.

During an event in the space visitors enter via the monumental staircase in the lobby, cross the white patio and pass into an intense black space.