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Library VANnU

Renovation, revitalization and redesign of the Van Nu Library in Roosendaal. The current library building consists the old monumental Emile van Loonhuis anno 1850 and an extension of the library from the seventies over two levels with an apartment complex above.

M+R produced a design for the library of the future. The plan provides for a rearrangement of functions, with the youth library being housed in the monumental building. The plan is based on a large central square where various functions are located, such as a theater, various retail spaces that can be rented out, an internet café with terrace, childcare and a central information desk. A footbridge provides access to the youth library on the second floor and the facades to the adjoining park are fully glazed, creating a transparent and open relationship. For the integration of the various functions, some architectural provisions were made such as a new entrance to the park, new stairs and new facades. The youth library in the monumental Emile van Loonhuis consists of various experience rooms, each with its own theme and book collection.

Treasure Mountain' youth library
On the initiative of M+R, the youth library was also housed in the Emile van Loonhuis. The basis for the design was the report of a number of workshops by Anneke Wijn of Creative Consultancy, in which a group of children between the ages of six and twelve, using the phrase 'Treasure is what's in your head' as a starting point, sought to answer the question of what the ideal youth library should look like. The outcome was the concept 'Allemaal schatrijk' (All rich in treasure) and 'Schatrijk' (Treasure) also became the name of the youth library. A number of rooms were created here, each with its own theme: Warmth + Safety, Atelier, Knowledge + Science, Mystery + Imagination, Sensual, Room of Sorrow and the meeting room. Because in the future children will also go to the library less to borrow books, Schatrijk had to become at least an 'experience library'. The experience begins with the footbridge that connects the children's library with the rest of the second floor: a long steel bridge across the square, with round transparent plastic railings, which will remind small children in particular of an exciting tunnel. The first room of the youth library is the former bathroom of the Emile van Loon House. During the renovation, a beautiful Art Déco bathroom with a marble bathtub sunk into the floor was discovered here, which was restored and covered with a glass panel. The rooms are all interconnected and through the doorways you always have surprising and colorful glimpses into the other rooms. Together they form a fairy-tale like and warm house where children clearly play the leading role.

The connection between the rooms is also depicted on the floor, by means of the 'aorta', a winding path with branches. The aorta is always orange, the rest of the floor has a different color in each room. The floor lies on loose plywood sheets, which leave the parquet underneath intact and also provide sound insulation in the house with its thin ceilings. From the ceilings hang fixtures designed by M+R in different sizes, with many small LED lights. In a few rooms there is furniture from Italy with didactic qualities (Reggio Emilia). In front of the windows always hang dark blue curtains, but each room has its own colorful wallpaper, with, for example, circles, stripes or sunflowers, or stars and planets in the room of Knowledge + Science. Finally, endearing is the Room of Sorrow, which contains books that are almost never lent out. For some compassionate children, even these books thus acquire something of interest, so that they are read again from time to time anyway.