Photograph by Pierre Manuel RouxelLong wooden benches along the edges of the space accommodate   the air conditioning vents. Site plan – click for larger imageFloor plan – click for larger imageSection one – click for larger imageSection two – click for larger image Skylights atop   the truncated pyramidal sections fill the reading room with soft and diffused north light, like in a factory. Photograph by Pierre Manuel RouxelPhotography is by Julien Lanoo   unless stated otherwise. Supporting pillars placed at the intersections of multiple edges integrate cabling to help keep it out of sight. Meanwhile, the shapes on the underside are intended to give the interior a more human scale by evoking the coffered ceilings of libraries in grand townhouses. Photograph by Pierre Manuel RouxelA sliver of space between the police station and the extension accommodates a sheltered courtyard that is accessible from the cafe and connects with the end of the garden pathway. An empty triangular plot at the rear of the building provided an opportunity to expand the facility, so the architects added a large reading room within a contrasting modern structure. Triangular skylights set into a faceted stainless-steel roof direct daylight into the   reading room of this library that   Tank Architectes has completed   in a converted   police station in France   (+ slideshow). The building’s location at the boundary between industrial and more residential districts influenced the angular shape of the roof, which   combines elements   from the pitched roofs of typical houses and the sawtoothed profiles of factory buildings. “The result is a calm and peaceful atmosphere inviting everybody to access a variety of media.”
Photograph by Pierre Manuel RouxelEach of the timber roof elements was prefabricated in a workshop and assembled on site. French studio Tank Architectes was responsible for repurposing the 1930s building as part of the development of a new public space at the centre of La Madeleine, a town   on the outskirts of Lille. “The facility has been designed as a third place between home and workplace,” the architects told Dezeen. Photograph by Pierre Manuel RouxelThe roof is covered externally in stainless steel panels that create a glimmering surface visible from surrounding buildings, while the underside is clad in perforated plywood to improve acoustics inside the reading room. New glazed openings provide views out from the formerly closed gable ends, while the old stonework was freshened up with a coat of white paint.

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