Pinocchio Children’s Library

The magic that inspired Carlo Collodi to write The Adventures of Pinnochio is still well and alive in his hometown, Collodi. Our proposal finds its roots in that tangible magic, so characteristic of Tuscany and merges it with the future that has been envisioned for this beautiful town.


With this in mind, two factors define the genesis of the idea: the local physical character and landscape, and the translation of the magic evoked by literature into the material world.

The local physical character of the region is conceptualised in the project within six main aspects. The medieval footprint of the buildings, the interstitial spaces formed between those buildings, the framed views of these spaces and the landscape, the vernacular materiality, and the most important aspect for this proposal: the color.

While the first factor defines most of the formal look of the project, the second has more to do with the feeling and spirit of it. The main objective of this concept is to create a series of spaces that as a whole are able to blur the lines between reality and fantasy–the same way literature does–by creating architecture that is meant to be experienced and enjoyed. Taking advantage of fantasy-like qualities achieved by concepts of repetition, reflections, color, and light.

Pinocchio Children’s library will offer its visitors a unique project where concepts that seem to be opposite like interior and exterior, function and play, digital and analog merge into the program,  resulting in various educational spaces for children and adults to develop their imagination.

The formal aesthetic of the complex derives from a child´s perspective of the world. The architecture is conveyed in an almost childlike representation of the existing elements in the town of Collodi. Pointed and semi circular arches, thick walls, and traditional pitched roofs result in a proposal that is both contemporary and deeply rooted in the local tradition.


Intervention of The Paper Factory, a slanted volume covers the most deteriorated part of the building. The distribution and angles of the complex originate from its inclination and shape.


The architectural program is organised from the main entrance located on the west side of the river, along with the reception, café and auditorium. Across the river the Library, workshop, exhibition areas, media space, and underground parking.


The building placement imitates the typical disorganised footprint of a medieval town.


All the main axis for the project are taken either from the alignment to the existing paper factory and its adjoining buildings or parallel lines of them.


Every plaza, exterior courtyards and paths are located and designed to frame important views in Collodi and its landscape.


Every new building has a slanted roof that originates from the angle in the main volume across the paper factory.


Existing architectural elements like arches and deep windows are replicated and reinterpreted across the complex.


Across Collodi, Yellow is the most used facade color. The project uses yellow in a bright and fresh shade in interior spaces to create an interesting contrast with the roughness of the exterior material.

3rd. Place - International Level - Young Architects Competition