Nice - Louis Nucéra Library, Municipal Library with Regional Vocation
Nice 06000 - Alpes-Maritimes Population (2010): 344 875 inhabitants Area: 72 km²
The need for a library
Before the Louis Nucéra library opened its doors, the city of Nice had 15 fixed cultural sites, a media library (Lamartine central library since 1987) and 3 mediabus. But with more than 60,000 subscribers across the Nice library network, 1,100,000 loans per year and 2,000 daily media library entries, the installation of a new library quickly became a necessity. This is why, in 1994, the City Council decided to acquire a site on the Promenade des Arts in order to install the new Louis Nucéra Municipal Library which became head of the BMVR network (Municipal Library with Regional Vocation). This network consists of the Romain Gary Heritage Library and 12 other neighbourhood libraries (Ariane- Leonardo da Vinci, Cimiez, Caucade, de Maeyer, Fountain of the Temple, Magnan, les Moulins-A.Lefeuvre, Saint-Roch, Terra Amata, Thiole, Jorgi Tasso and Pasteur which has just opened its doors).
The opening of the library in 2002 was the culmination of a landmark project. The aim of the latter was to create, in the 5th largest city in France, a large-scale cultural equipment to meet the demand of the many readers.
Library Staging – Architect’s Look
Two buildings mark this new cultural building. The central library of the BMVR, Louis Nucéra, open to the public (entrance Place Yves Klein) and the Tête Carrée only reserved for the administration of the network libraries.
La Tête Carrée, created by artist Sacha Sosno, preserves the architectural cohesion of the Promenade des Arts. As for the Louis Nucéra library, it was the architects Francis Chapus, alongside Yves Bayard, who was already the architect of the National Theatre and the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art, who caught the attention of the municipal team. This choice allowed to maintain a certain coherence in the style of the Promenade as well as a perfect homogeneity with the various buildings already built.
Through the commission of the theatre and the museum in the 1990s, the objective of the mayor Jacques Médecin (from 1966 to 1990) was to continue the development of the coastal river Paillon. The Promenade des Arts was born from this commission. It continued to cover the river between the hanging gardens and the Acropolis palace. In addition to these two buildings, a garden completed the development of the Promenade up to the Palais des expositions. However, for nearly 10 years, the volume under this garden has never been used, finding no worthwhile project to install.
Mayor Jacques Peyrat (1995-2008) launched a competition in 1994 to develop cultural equipment. Architects Francis Chapus and Yves Bayard presented themselves with the construction of the library as a project. This allowed "Better a well-made head than a full head" Montaigne: this is the message that the architects wanted to get across the Square Head.
The question of admission to the public was resolved by placing the opening on Place Yves Klein, directly opposite the museum and the theatre.
Note the rarity of such a single-storey structure allowing the public to move from the busiest spaces (reception) to the quietest (consultation and study spaces).
Impacts… 11 years later
Today, with the Louis Nucéra Library as the head of the network, the network’s 13 municipal libraries have 1.2 million documents combined, 1.5 million loans per year, 2,500 daily admissions and 40,000 active subscribers. Each of these libraries can decide on its acquisitions and animations; however, they must all keep the rules issued by the central library.
The Louis Nucéra library offers a wide range of services: spaces for children and adults, a "news" area, a video library, a music library, an auditorium (110 seats) as well as an exhibition space. Through its many services, and its 400,000 books available, the library has been able to respond to a mission to combat illiteracy. It has succeeded in attracting audiences that are socially distant from reading through an enhanced pooling of services and actions. This practice continues to develop between the various libraries of the network.
Architect : Francis Chapus and Yves Bayard - Associate artist: Sacha Sosno
Surface : 10,600 m²
Production cost €12,500,820 (excl. tax)
State aid : 40%
Aid from the region : 14.5%
Department aids : 10%
- Sheet produced by Margaux Baussant, trainee at the drac Paca with the advisor for books and reading in the framework of a Master 1 "Law and Management of culture and media" at L'IMPGT, Institute of Public Management and Territorial Governance, University of Aix-Marseille.