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For the sixth annual AZ Awards, our intrepid jury narrowed the field from over 800 submissions, received from dozens of countries, to select just 48 finalists that stood above the rest. In addition to presenting the AZ Award winners, Azure recognized these projects, products and concepts with Awards of Merit.

Located in Chile’s pulp-and-paper patch, this monumental library is the culmination of a public-private partnership to rebuild after an 8.8 earthquake and tsunami hit Constitución in 2010. Following the devastation, Sebastian Irarrázaval’s scheme for a 300-square-metre community centre served as a point of pride to a city rebuilding its identity. The facade’s full-height windows amplify the library’s public nature and draw readers in with displays of new titles, while their awnings shade canopied benches at street level for weary passers-by. Inside, the choice of laminated pine beams to define distinct zones is not just visually stunning; it also created work for local carpenters.

Location: Constitución, Chile

Firm: Sebastian Irarrázaval Arquitectos, Chile

Team: Sebastian Irarrázaval with Alicia Arguelles, Joel Barrera, Macarena Burdiles, Sebastián Mancera and Carlos Pesquera ­

Public Library of Constitución

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