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Ellena Mehl  Architectes : Bibliothèque L’Heure Joyeuse

What more than a beautiful light filtered by attractive facade to give children a taste for reading? Posted inside on the stands, readers of the library L'Heure Joyeuse in Paris (5ème arrondissement) benefit from the familiar setting of the church and the park facing them. An atmosphere made possible by the architects of the studio Ellena Mehl Architects.

The architectural firm Ellena Mehl is led by a duo of versatile architects, Hervé Ellena and Stéphanie Mehl. Their last achievement, located rue des Prières Saint-Séverin in the 5ème arrondissement of the capital reflects a work that does not betray their practice: realistic and sensitive.
They realize the standardization, the creation of accessibility and the redevelopment of spaces, and transform the complexity of the building into a real asset.

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The "Joyful Hour" library, of 452 square meters, is divided on the first two levels of a building of the 1970 years. Its pleated facade takes up the structural elements of the time, which the architects transform into a light, playful and luminous structure. The new facade also includes the municipal nursery, separated from the library by a double entrances that form a set of full and empty. Visitors enter the entrance courtyard of the nursery through a perforated metal grid, while the entrance to the library is through the adjoining bay window.

The structure of the superstructure of the building is reinterpreted by the astonishing "faceting" of the showcase designed by the duo. Close to the pedestrian street overlooking the Saint-Séverin church and its park, the library finds a clear communication with its urban environment.
The triangulation of the windows plays oblique and resumes its original contours, lightened and stretched to allow the reading spaces to be immersed in natural light. From the outside, we can guess the acoustic ceiling and its suspended diamond-shaped elements that decorate the ground floor with unexpected but reassuring reliefs. The bleachers, which are grafted to the facade from the inside, constitute another organic element of the architecture that small and large appropriate for the readings and events.
On this peaceful square in the heart of the street, reading among the passersby will not tick!

To learn more, visit the site of Ellena Mehl Architectes

Photographs: Courtesy of Ellena Mehl Architects

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