The choice of furniture for the Grande Bibliothèque, like the building itself, was based on a competition. In our winning submission, we were inspired by a painting by Antonello da Messina, painted in the 15th century, entitled St. Jerome in His Study. Another source of inspiration was the office furniture with an inclined work surface designed in the 1960s by the Danish designer Jens Risom, a pioneer of the ergonomic approach.
The challenge was to design all the furniture for the Grande Bibliothèque, from work surfaces to armchairs and reading lamps, from conference tables to modules for multimedia listening and furniture for the Youth Space. Among other things, the concept would have to harmonize with the style and materials proposed by the architects including wood, which is heavily represented.
To eliminate assemblies in the folded parts of the work surfaces, a new folding principle was applied to all cabinetry for the project, which made it possible to save time and money. Ingenious footrests were also created to hide the many wires extending from the central column of the base. Lastly, a Québec glass artist created 500 reading lamps with lampshades, made of clear glass on the outside, emerald glass in the centre, and white frosted glass on the inside, serving as a diffuser.
Grande bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec