Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring 2-4 D-50672 Cologne, Germany
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Czech National Library
043_Czech National Library (international competition, 2006) The New Czech National Library is a hybrid typology between utilitarian functionality and public grandeur. 60% of the floor area is solely used as storage, only 20% of the floor area is open to the public. The presence of 10 million books creates monumentality by shear number. Similar to baroque libraries visitors and employees are completely surrounded by books. With generic typologies such as supermarkets as a model the scheme juxtaposes the programmatic necessities of separating magazine and public spaces with the baroque approach of universal presence. The scheme is an obsessive spatial matrix. Open in plan on a 97 x 97 m square the building rises 7 floors. Voids connect each public floor of 6,75 m height to a mezzanine storage floor of 2,30 m height. The structure rests on perforated concrete cylinders that contain vertical circulation and light shafts.