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Basic data  
Project source Competition
Project no. 120202
Client Mestna občina Ljubljana
Site Ljubljana, Slovenia
Date 2012
Project type Educationa
Program National library
Storeys Basement + ground + 10
SKA team Tomaž Krištof
  Ivana Ljubanovič
  Miguel Angel Jimenez
Slot team Juan Carlos Vidals
  Moritz Melchert
  Oscar Barajas
  Irais de la Fuente
Urbanism etc. Brane Mihovec
Functionality Andrej Šubic
Presentation Martin Gustinčič
Landscape Tina Demšar Vreš
Structure Matej Jan
  Igor Lipanje
HVAC Tomi Celarc
Traffic design Petra Krištof
  Tomaž Predan
Fire safety Aleš Drnovšek
Calculations Ervin Rupena

New Slovenian national library

Despite its considerable size on a relatively small plot of land, this proposal for the new National and University Library in Ljubljana appears well proportioned within its urban context, which is achieved by two different actions; on the one hand, the project intends to keep its main building mass as low as possible by offering additional square meters in a setback tower. And on the other hand it generates two public plazas, one on the northeast and the other on the southwest corner and by this does not fill-up the entire building block.

Another important aspect at the urban scale is the implementation of three balconies, each one facing a public plaza or terrace and generating a straight relation between the building and its immediate surroundings. The west balcony invites visitors from the direction of the faculties, and the north balcony invites visitors from city center to enter the building. The ones who enter inside are then furthermore invited by a roof loggia to continue their path to the roof terrace in the sun.

Programmatically, the building is divided in three parts; the lowest part – half sunken in the ground – is used for the representation of the archeological remains of roman times and houses the supportive program of the library. Followed by the most public part of the library, the main body floats on top of the archeological floor and accommodates reading halls, free access books, and offices. The tower on top as third element houses all non-public accessible book storages holding the national treasure of Slovenia.

The building's strong formal expression recalls its importance as a cultural building of national character; while bold columns are returning to mind the roman history of site and generate an interesting scene together with the existing ruins by forming the building's foundations on the archeological floor, the upper floating body is composed of a series of horizontal lines. They are all shifted slightly one in relation to the other and so create an interesting façade unifying the building's different programmatic parts. Even though technically there is no torsion at all and all floor plans are rectangular, they suggest distorted facades. This effect combined with the generous visual relation caused by the oversized windows makes the new National and University Library appear a monumental building, converting into a nation's landmark.
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