Royal HaskoningDHV has been acoustic consultant for the multimedia library Bibliothèque Alexis de Tocqueville in Caen (France). The ambition is for the library to become "a new civic center" for the city.

Bibliotheque Alexis de Tocqueville in Caen, France | Royal HaskoningDHV

The 12.000 m2 multimedia library for the metropolitan region Caen la Mer in Normandy is a new building designed by Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) in collaboration with Barcode and Clement Blanchet Architecture. The site is located at the Bassin Saint-Pierre. This port is mainly used for recreation. The quay will be transformed into a boulevard creating a connection between the centre and a former industrial site where a pop stage and the Ecole Supérieure d'Arts & Medias de Caen are located. At this boulevard cultural activities can take place.

The characteristic of this building is the large open library space on the first floor. This room has a double height and glazed facades. At ground level a 150 seats auditorium, a restaurant with an outdoor terrace on the waterfront, and an exhibition space are provided. The first floor contains a variety of work and reading spaces and a mixture of 120.000 digital and physical documents. The offices and the children's department are on the third floor.

Royal HaskoningDHV was the acoustic consultant for the project. Because of the large volumes in the library, special care is taken for providing a healthy and productive acoustic environment. Between different functions (individual study spaces, open work area, reception, et cetera) the speech privacy is studied. Also the noise mitigation from building services (e.g. air treatment units and escalators) through the open space is controlled to prevent disturbances.

The official opening date for Caen's new public library has been slated for January 13, 2017.