National and University Library of SloveniaEdit profile
The National and University Library (Slovene: Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, NUK) is one of the most important national educational and cultural institutions of Slovenia. It was established in 1774 by a decree released by the Empress Maria Theresa. It is located in the centre of Ljubljana, in a building designed by the architect Jože Plečnik in the years 1930–31 and constructed between 1936-41. The building is considered one of the greatest achievements by Plečnik.
Plans for a new building were created between 1930-31 by Jože Plečnik. Initially the project encountered resistance by the Yugoslavian authorities based in Belgrade. However, persistent student protests and demonstrations have been effective, and the new building was erected between 1936-41.
The library building is the most monumental of Plečnik's works. The central staircase which leads to a reading room, set between colonnades of dark stone, is characteristic to his design style. Contrasted with this is the powerful, expressive street façade, which is representative of Plecnik's most "eccentric mannerist style".
The planned construction of the new NUK building (known as NUK II) that will stand on the Zois Street is as of July 2009 scheduled to begin in 2011, although the plans for it were prepared by the Slovenian architect Marko Mušič already in 1989. Till the beginning of construction, the site will serve as a provisional parking lot. There are several causes for the delay, among them problems in the process of the acquisition of the real estate, the preparation of the documentation necessary to obtain the construction permit and the archaeological excavations of the remains of the Roman castrum Emona that took place in 1990–99 and in 2008.