The atmosphere of a library space is mostly characterized by the experience of being surrounded by books. Although digital media is playing an increasingly important role in the transmission of information, we believe that the main physical manifestation of a community’s knowledge remain books. We designed the building based on this notion.
The new building is elevated above the ruins of Emona castrum. We hung reading booths from the base of the framework so the residents of the city can read in the intimate proximity of the ruins. This area also serves as the public foyer of the library, aiming to integrate this historic area into the urban life.
The most important identity-bearing attraction of Ljubljana, the castle hill can be seen from all corners of the spacious study’s stair-like descending space, thus creating a close visual connection between the building and the city. The reading booths surrounding the space of the grand study - giving the foreground of the urban skyline - enrich the view with new layers and possibilities of association. The connection is reciprocal: the bright study and all the books in it are clearly visible from the surrounding streets and squares.
The façade is formed by the rhythmic alternation of fully transparent and medium-transparent glazed elements, which let in more light where necessary and shield the surfaces to be protected from light. The sensitive modulation of the perforation of the façade further nuances the visual connection between the city and the library spaces.The lattice architecture of the building reminds us of the essence of a library: the bookshelf.