Library in
Arenys de Mar

Location: Arenys de Mar, Barcelona
Year: 2019
Surface: 1760 m2
Status: Not built


Runner-up proposal for the tender organised by the Municipality of Arenys de Mar together with Diputació de Barcelona.

Transformation of the monastery Les Clarisses to become the new Public Library.

The existing monastery has a central position in the city which creates the possibility to integrate it into the main street called ‘la Riera’. A sequence of green spaces connect the building to the surroundings, thus becoming a green lung that not only preserves the silent atmosphere, but also provides a good connection to the city. Due to the new programme requirements, a new volume is attached to the existing building, creating a sequence of outdoor spaces that gradually bring people to the interior of the library. Preserving the appearance of the existing monastery is one of the main goals and that’s why the extension is sunken into the topography and set back in order to create as much space as possible in the middle. The new patio is an outdoor lobby that divides the program and the circulations into two areas: old and new. The kids area and the archive which are more noisy are located in the new part. The existing part is used for more silent programme such as the general area, administration and a conference hall that is located in the old church.

  • Team: Jordi Henrich & midori arquitectura
  • Advisors: BIS estructures (structural enginner) & Ordeic (installations and sustainability)
The new volume creates an access square that makes the old convent become part of the main street.


The proposal enhances the good connection between the old convent and the city. The new volume creates a topography that solves and softens the height difference. At the same time, this becomes part of the potential green lung in the middle of the city. It becomes a silent spot for the new library.


The extension solves the height difference and opens up the building to the city.


A sequence of exterior spaces make the transition between the public and the private space.

The new patio is the meeting point and it becomes the main access to the existing building.
The proposal integrates the existing green spaces through a topography that becomes a new green area in the middle of the city.
Ground floor
First and second floor
The new garden creates a soft pathway while going down through the green roof.
The existing building pops up as part of the landscape.
The extension is sunken into a sinuous topography that connects the access to the upper level.


The existing building preserves the atmosphere of the old monastery and shows the trusses that were previously hidden.


The extension is oriented towards the new patio which has the back facade of the monastery as a new background.