Prague, Czech Republic
City of Prague
575,900 sf | 53,500 sm
Central Public Library
National Library of the Czech Republic
A Re-Interpretation of a Library…A Nexus of Diverse, Social, and Interrelated Activities
The National Library of the Czech Republic desires to create a new Library, one that strengthens its role with the city of Prague. For centuries, the role of the Library has been to protect and provide open and free access to information and ideas. For many, it is a ‘cultured space’ which encompasses the identity and characteristics of a city, region, and country…our world. The city of Prague looks to strengthen this role and create a ‘space of culture’ which promotes and generates an interest in the Czech Republic’s future as a center for literature.
Our solution is to provide Prague an expansion on the meaning and function of a Library based on today’s global/local culture, or ‘Glocal’ placement within the context of Prague. This solution gives the Czech Republic, and specifically Prague’s inhabitants, another choice in terms of intellectual connections, cultural exchange, and lifestyle under one roof.
A plinth is created from an augmented ground plane that visually extends from the Letenska Plain, extending and effectively giving the city a Rooftop Park. This development gives the neighboring context a new and elevated ‘front yard’. The platform forms the basis for the built environment and for nature to coexist, directly confronting the site’s two faces. The base houses the more public functions of the facility, with the main collection organized in the tower above. The solution develops from an integration of the programmatic organization and urban/park typologies.
The New National Library develops this edge condition of the city of Prague and transforms it from a secondary use into the nexus of diverse, social, and interrelated activity. This abstract framework, with its multiple references to the structure of the city, is used as the departure point for this 21st century reinterpretation of a library.