Canadian Centre for Architecture 1920, rue Baile Montreal, Quebec H3H 2S6, Canada
A super-library combining five national collections in one building, Paris's National Library of France was the final Grands travaux of President Fran?ois Mitterrand. Initially commissioned to house all French production of words, images, and sounds since 1945, its architectural competition captured the confusion and variety of architectural thinking in 1989.
OMA's proposal was for a 100m tall cube aggressively placed on the banks of the Seine; a building that marks the beginning of the 'big' period and the shift from urbanism to conceptual formalism that Rem Koolhaas would retroactively name in his infamous remark on context.
The project begins from a distinction between book storage (solid) and public space (voids), and the logic of separation gives the building its structural form of a "solid cube of information" with specific voids, on top of a plinth.
The building was the first project where OMA used modelling computer software to produce images after the competition was over. Tres Grande Bibliotheque (Very Big Library) includes these as well as the final anonymous presentation panels, two giant models whose epic construction will be live streamed from the Octagonal Gallery, and hundreds of working drawings showing design process moving through different media.