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National Library of the Czech Republic


Prague
2006
Our scheme for the Library stems from urban design, programmatic and conceptual bases. The Library at once responds to a specific urban typology of a hard-edged building backed by a garden, a clear division of spaces between administrative elements, public library elements and shared public spaces and forms. Conceptually we see the building as a public forum in which to read, learn and share.

The building has three main elements. The l shaped stacks and reading areas, a square element at the southwest that contains the administrative offices in close proximity to public spaces they support. Finally there is the indoor plaza from which the Parliament Library rises as a large “cabinet.” It flares back to let in sunlight and can be seen from many parts of the city. This element’s location and dynamic form are evocative of its treasured public contents and public use.
image: site plan