rubens cortés arquitectos renovates andalusian tobacco shed with luminous library

rubens cortés arquitectos renovates andalusian tobacco shed with luminous library

southern spain’s agricultural architecture revived


The Biblioteca Pública María Lejárraga is an architectural intervention in which the old meets new in Andalusia, Spain. Designed by the architecture studio Rubens Cortés Arquitectos, this library integrates a renovated tobacco drying shed with a contemporary extension, reviving a relic of the region’s agricultural past. These tobacco drying sheds have long stood as symbols of Granada’s agricultural heritage, but have gradually succumbed to urbanization. The library project stands as a beacon of preservation, restoring a single shed with a modern addition with a facade of rhythmic vertical timber.

rubens cortés arquitectos renovates andalusian tobacco shed with luminous librarythe project combines a restored tobacco drying shed with a modern extension | images © Javier Callejas Sevilla



the library’s luminous timber reading room


The heart of Rubens Cortés Arquitectos‘ library extension is its dramatic reading room, illuminated by filtered sunlight through the timber facade. The room’s structural framework, crafted from interlocking wooden beams, forms an intricate latticework that encompasses walls, ceiling, and floor. This structure, composed of 162 unique wooden frames, transforms from square to pentagonal in section. Thus, the modern addition meets the contours of the renovated drying shed with its pitched roof on one end, before gradually ending with a rectangular face on the other. This condition lends a faceted, sloping rooftop.

rubens cortés arquitectos library
the library extension is partially underground, reducing its visual presence and improving energy efficiency



subterranean architecture by rubens cortés arquitectos


Driven by a commitment to environmental sensitivity, the team at Rubens Cortés Arquitectos considered the impact of its Biblioteca Pública María Lejárraga on the surrounding landscape. By partially submerging the library extension beneath the park’s surface, the architects minimized the visual mass of the structure and enhanced its bioclimatic performance, lending natural cooling and reducing energy consumption.


Despite the library’s partially subterranean extension, the Rubens Cortés floods the interior spaces with natural light. Strategically placed windows and skylights are integrated into the wooden latticework, allow sunlight to filter through to create warm and inviting interiors.rubens cortés arquitectos library
located in Ogíjares, the project honors Granada’s agricultural heritage while introducing a contemporary space


rubens cortés arquitectos library
the architects preserved an historic tobacco drying shed rubens cortés arquitectos library
natural light fills the interiors through strategically placed windows and skylights


the wooden framework comprises 162 unique frames that adapt to the existing drying shed

rubens cortés arquitectos renovates andalusian tobacco shed with luminous library
the reading room features a rhythmic wooden structure that wraps the walls, ceiling, and floor


Biblioteca Pública María Lejárraga exemplifies innovative architecture that merges the old and new


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long section
short section
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floor plans
floor plans

project info:


project title: Biblioteca Pública María Lejárraga

architecture: Rubens Cortés Arquitectos@rubens_cortes

location: Ogíjares, Andalucía, Spain

lead architect: Rubens Cortés Cano
project team: Raúl Melguizo, Álvaro Castellano, David Garzón, Sergio Páez
technical architect: Carlos Guerrero
engineer: Juan Fernández
construction: Urbana + B.Solís
client: City Hall of Ogíjares

photography: © Javier Callejas Sevilla | @javiercallejas_

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