Across from the entrance to plantation house Rooi Catootje on Curacao, the new Mongui Maduro library has taken shape. The large collection of books, magazines and other media used to be stored in the manor itself, but it became impossible to regulate the climate enough to conserve the collection properly.
The new library is mostly housed underground, but the entrance above ground makes a statement. One continuing slab starts as a canopy, continues as a roof, becomes a wall and ends as the roof of the first basement level. The canopy is in line with the axis of Rooi Catootje and gestures the connection between the two.
The library’s entrance is respectful of the plantation house. For example, the slab is the same height as the band, seen on the façade, of the first floor of the house. Also, the building height is in line with the height of the house’s terrace, to maintain an unimpeded view to the southwest, also making sure plantation house Rooi Catootje remains the main building on the plot.
Downstairs, the library levels are made up out of multiple parallel walls that continue into the garden. Patios ensure that the library gets enough light and, together with the continuing walls, add a balanced interaction with the surrounding nature.