Ode to Erudition

Castle libraries, Bourgogne

Speaking of an exceptional commission... Gert Voorjans had the honour of designing two libraries for a passionate bibliophile in France. Two welcoming environments where the architecture invites visitors to read. But also two micro-cosmoses, just as meticulously crafted as the books by the famous authors that line the walls. Although the historic books are the absolute protagonists on the shelves, Voorjans still managed to discreetly deploy his visual vocabulary here.

The two libraries are literally architecture down to the square millimetre. Savoir-faire off the top shelf, featuring unparalleled finesse in the finest details. Don’t look for grand gestures or ostentatious interventions here: the rooms suggest more than they showcase. They are subordinate to erudition, although visitors can read a story of pure craftsmanship between the lines.

The context is straight from a history book, too: a spacious castle, grounds and outbuildings near Dijon. The adjacent fields are also part of the estate. Untouched by landscapers, this ‘non-garden’ with its grassy fields and knotty willows has been left to nature’s devices for centuries. The result is majestic, and fascinating in every season. 

Photography: Tim Van de Velde | Text: Gert Voorjans & Thijs Demeulemeester