The architectural concept
At the heart of the project is the dome. The aim of the project is to make the dome once more the central feature of the building, as it used to be. The reading room used to be beneath the dome, receiving light from overhead. The central staircase serving the four levels open to the public will be positioned beneath the dome, and the building will receive light from the hollowed out walls supporting the dome, while the stainless steel slats in the stairwell will reflect the light.
The architect also makes references to the interior and exterior decoration of the building; he feels it is important to achieve a coherence and uniformity in the decoration of the façade and that of the indoor areas.
The project also tends towards giving the building back the monumental aspect it used to have, by detaching it from the architectural choices of the 1950s and returning to its previous volumes, with an atrium leading to the central staircase and the area beneath the cupola.
For more information:
Nicolas Michelin interviewed by Christophe Didier. Revue de la BNU, issue no.1, 2010, pp. 56-59.