The New National Library
of the Czech Republi

Competition 2007
BGF 50.600 m²
BRI 214.500 m³

Descriptive Report:

Now that we have done our sculptural and artificial work concerning the building of the New National Library of the Czech Republic, we would like to introduce into some aspects of our intentions.

In our opinion the new building should have a quiet classical form to spread out the spirit of durable actuality and sublimity.

At the same time, of course, we created a modern building, that is speaking the language of today.

We are convinced that everything we do with architecture is that it has to be comfortable for users nowadays and in further times.

Architecture is about people, not only as an end in itself.

Therefore there is no stringent symmetry but sometimes there are arbitrary measures and little disturbances to destroy the strength of the outer skin and the inside expanse and there are no preventions to get into the building.

The primary form of the cubus is broken up at the edges showing the natural points of entrances, just where people reach the building from the main distances of Letna Area.

As opening pages of a book the entrances are like membranes to look through, making the inside transparently and clear.

Equal to its meaning, facades are reacting to the different surroundings and at the same time are giving an answer in response to the content they are covering.

At three sides the facades are telling the story of books. Similar to the stacks they imitate the storage staples in the inside of the library by changing closed pillar-walls and narrow windows between.

By the side of the park, with increasing intensity of the panorama-view over historically Prague’s silhouette the whole facade is wide opened with glass.

This is the place where public functions are situated in vertical composition, as there are: the restaurant with direct connection to the park-terrace on ground floor, the lecture theatre above, study rooms and reading galleries on upper floors.

The southern facade is like the library’s opening to history, as if it is connecting itself with Hradshin, Karl’s Bridge, Parliament, Theyn Church and with Jan Hus.

The heart of the National Library is dedicated to the cupola that brings zenith light into each level and it seems to have the intrinsic virtue to combine both parts, those of closed and those of open stacks of the universal collections. It is also the adequate place for the Parliamentary Library on highest plateau.

Underneath the “overwhelming” glass the rotunda is the centre of the main library hall, introverted based on itself and, last but not least, giving an own identity to the building that is standing in accordance with the dignity of the New National Library of Prague.