LA BIB, a library that doesn’t look like a library

Chairs from the Lottus family furnish various areas, from quiet corners that are perfect to read or study to more sociable spaces

La Bib

The old Dunkirk Museum of Fine Arts was turned into a media library of almost 4,000 square meters called LA BIB in 2019, a project ordered by the city and that was become a reality thanks to the collaboration between IDM Library and D’Houndt + Bajart architects.

The ambitious goal was to create a library that did not look like a library, a cultural center that included a cafeteria, a library, a cultural store, an auditorium and an exhibition hall; a place that was accessible for everybody.

To achieve this, the many annexes that had been built around the original structure over time were demolished, resulting in a simple architectural language. Besides, the monumental white exterior of the old museum was kept very similar to the original, with the exception that large openings were introduced, which allow natural light to deep into the interior spaces.

These interior spaces, on the other part, were conceived as a continuous and consistent space that houses from quiet corners that are perfect to read or study, to more sociable areas to chat with friends. In this way, LA BIB manages to provide a pleasant atmosphere in each one of these areas, many of them furnished with our chairs from the Lottus collection, both with four-legged and spin frames. The organic lines of the family couldn’t be more suitable for this installation.

The project has been the result of mixing the past and the present while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original building.

Photographs: Maxime Delvaux

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