The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is delighted to announce that the Gabriel García Márquez Library in Barcelona, designed by MAEBB Faculty Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevillano (SUMA Arquitectura), has been recognized as the world’s best public library by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Photos © Jesús Granada

The Gabriel García Márquez Library is a great example of how a library can serve as a crucial link between people and communities. The entire building process, including the selection of materials, has been characterised by rigorous sustainable choices and bold and ambitious solutions. The Gabriel García Márquez Library stands as a true role model for future library buildings in years to come.” Said Jakob Guillois Lærkes, Chairman of the Jury.

Serving as a central community hub for 240,000 residents, the Gabriel García Márquez Library, was named Public Library of the Year 2023 at the 88th IFLA World Library and Information Conference, that took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This year, the competition featured 16 libraries from 11 different countries.

Members of the Built by Nature’s Mass Madera network, Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevillano are Faculty in the Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings & Biocities (MAEBB). Their project has gained significant recognition for its pioneering design and commitment to ecological principles. The project is a unique district library, presented as a sculptural volume inspired by stacked blocks of books and set on a square slightly elevated above the street, whose large openings and voids dialogue with the surroundings. The structure is a hybrid of laminated and cross-laminated timber and steel, maximizing structural efficiency and architectural performance. A dense wood structure that enhances the haptic qualities (warmth, texture, smell and hydrothermal performance) and provides warm and intimate zones, while the structural layout offers a great variety of spaces.


MAEBB is an 11-month immersive academic program focused on learning how to design and build a new generation of buildings and cities to respond to the planet’s emerging climate challenges.

The program is carried out in Valldaura Labs, in Barcelona, a 135 He property located in the Collserola forest. The students live and work surrounded by nature while using the most advanced technologies and design techniques in the pursuit of what is also IAAC’s long term initiative, to create self-sufficient and ecological environments.