Library in Salinas


Sara López Arraiza, Nacho Ruiz Allén


Manuel Martínez Manso (quantity surveyor), Jesús Suárez Fernández (mechanical engineer)


Ayuntamiento de Castrillón

Construction company



Salinas, Asturias, Spain




Marcos Morilla, RAAL


First Prize (2021) - XXV Asturias Architecture Award. Building Category. Oviedo, Spain


The project arises from the desire by the municipal administration to create new spaces to house the library and study centre in Salinas, which until then occupied different rooms of the old institute. The new site chosen for this facility is defined by a given perimeter of regular geometry and a sinuous layout that determines the distribution of uses and access.

The proposal tries to combine two well-known architectural strategies, although relatively opposed. On the one hand, spatial continuity. Taking inspiration from the open plan inherited from modernity, the functions are arranged on a continuous surface that runs through and connects all the spaces. On the other hand, volumetric fragmentation. Evoking with a certain nostalgia the friendly dimension of the constructions of the lost village, the spatial sequence is fragmented through a differentiated treatment of the ceilings. Both strategies have a common objective: to reinforce the civic character of the facility. By means of spatial continuity, free circulation, encounter and connectivity are encouraged. Through volumetric fragmentation, a smaller scale is generated, intimate and homely, close to the idea of shelter. From its very origin, the project aimed to provide a diverse range of experiences and become a place open to all: the common house.

Perhaps, this is the reason why the interior tries to offer an alienated, distant and dislocated image in contrast with the impression that can be deduced from its exterior. This unaccustomed decision, incubated from the very beginning of the project, makes us wonder now if it does not faithfully reproduce, in reality, one of the most common features present in the idea of shelter: the denial of an alien, disturbing and inhospitable exterior.