Usera Public Library
Sitting on a patch of high ground, the 'Biblioteca publica Jose Hierro' could be described as a castle for the safe keeping of books and other information. Upon entering, the first thing one encounters is a dramatic triple height entrance space, followed by the discovery that the the ground floor plan is actually quite extensive, and is not confined to the footprint of the tower above. A good way to experience the building is to take the lift up to the top floor and then walk back down the stairs. The plan of the tower is divided in a two-thirds/one-third split. There are several double height spaces occupying the larger portion, with mezzanine galleries - holding the toilets and quiet study rooms - forming the smaller part of the plan. Tall slit windows, arranged in an apparently random fashion, allow in natural light. The interior walls are covered in abstracted text in different colours. Structure is confined to the core and perimeter to leave a largely column-free interior.