The programme of the National and University Library II comprises
four programme units: free access library, storage and archive
facilities, work units - expert library services, and the
archaeological heritage of Roman Emona. Emona lies beneath
the surface level, so the three remaining units are used as
the base for volume composition. The units are organized into
three "wings" or three "open books" of the library. Library
services are housed in the lowest volume, oriented to northeast
and the French Revolution Square. Volume connects itself to
the urban fabric of the square; diagonally it discourses with
Plečnik's national Library in a clear but quiet fashion. The
public access wing forms the corner of Emonska and Zoisova
Streets, where it balances between the busy traffic dynamics
of the Slovenska - Zoisova intersection and the urban dynamics
of French Revolution Square. The storage wing positions itself
to the back of urban pulse, yet with its volume to the front
of perception for visitors coming to the city from the south.
All three volumes are lifted above Emona. Emona becomes part
of Ljubljana and at same time part of the library; a walk
through Emona becomes part of a routine. At both sources of
dynamics - from the side of Faculty of Philosophy on the west
and from French Revolution Square - volumes are lifted even
higher, high porticos create a clear connotation of entrance.
Volume dynamic follows the dynamic of the environment, the
storage and free access wings clearly denote a drop towards
Ljubljanica River, the services wings joins the tendency with
its roof reading garden by addressing the urban scale of the
adjoining square. Between the volumes, an atrium is created,
thus introverting the urban energies into a peaceful atmosphere
appropriate for studying; atrium is surrounded by a cloister,
vertically repeated four times.
Moreover, the clear composition of three "wings"/"books" also
indicates a decision for very a rational construction and
efficient functioning. Each unit has its own construction,
functional and climate demands - and the composition allocates
each unit its own volume without compromise between systems
with different conditions (functional, load bearing, climate).
Each volume's organization is repeated vertically, distribution
of installations is optimal, user paths are the shortest possible.
Investment value was estimated at 34.000.000 €. Our proposal
reflected the current state of mind in the world through its
rational use of sources and expected low running costs. But
it was a palace that won the competition.