The "Enrique José Varona" Library, Marianao (II)

Author: Arch. Cheo Malanga. Photos: Remigia Tuero.
May 26, 2010

Today we wander through the interesting interior spaces of the Enrique Jose Varona Library, located at Avenida 41 between Avenidas 43 and 51 in Marianao.
The building has two levels and a fluid interior space, with split levels between the different halls that enhance the spatial quality.
The main entrance to the library on Avenida 41 was conceived as a focal point, trying to extend the path placing it at an angle to the facade. The entry anticipates the experience of the interior spaces with its contrast between ceiling heights and a space that expands in all directions.

On the ground floor is a theater, which is reached through an interesting corridor marked by the rhythm of its coffered windows.

Stage lighting was originally achieved with the natural light that came through a pyramidal skylight located above; unfortunately today it is condemned.
The theater's seating is built-in, finished in ceramic veneers the same color as the floor, giving it an interesting chromatic unity.

On the ground floor both child and juvenile reading rooms are also located. The differentiation between spaces and rooms is achieved by a split-level floor.

The upper floor is accessed by an unusual staircase, located at the end of the access corridor, with walls disposed irregularly emphasizing perspective.

Upstairs there is another high ceiling reading room, intended for adults. A large glass pane lets daylight in, while the coffered windows at a lower level were designed with children in mind.

The Enrique Jose Varona Library building is certainly a gem of functional architecture, born of the talent of two young Cuban architects..

Next week we will have an interview with one of the designers of the E. J. Varona Library , the Architect Reinaldo Togores Fernandez.