Tartarstan National Library

The Tatarstan National Library is not merely the home to Tatarstan's most comprehensive collection of books. Unlike traditional state libraries the building stands out through its openness to the public.

The library is situated on a hill adjacent to a large square. Resembling an open book, the library's two main towers give a face to the previously undefined space. In between the towers, the main entrance hall acts as an interface between the city and library.

The light and spacious entrance hall forms the heart of the design. A loop elevated in the roomy lobby attracts the attention of the visitors. It can be used for events, exhibitions and lectures. The loop is also a metaphorical bridge between the inside and the outside, the city and the library, the lively public domain and the calm retreat of knowledge.

The metaphor is also reflected in the contrast between atmosphere and substantiation of the design. While all rooms feel open and inviting, the use of natural stone and wood give the building a sturdy and trustworthy appearance.

Behind the towers and the entrance hall, two rows of building volumes continue the slope of the landscape. In between the rows, a park-like path is also ascending onto the roof of the building. Parts of the library are entirely embedded into the hill, others are provided with daylight via courtyards.

The building does not only distinguish itself through the accessibility of its architecture, but also by facilitating access to knowledge. Besides offering all traditional library facilities, the building also acts as a centre for digital information in all its current and future forms.

The Tartarstan National Library allows to access information factually and at the same time invites citizens to explore and experience knowledge in many ways.

The design for the National Library of Tartarstan goes beyond the efficient storing and making available of information. Many thoughts were put into adding value to the building. The building is an extension of the city centre, a new part of the public domain offering a rich experience of space. The building connects with its environment in many ways.

The entrance to the library is not a mere entrance; it is the library's portal to the city and a continuation of the new square into the building. Inside, the 18 metre high atrium creates a light and airy atmosphere. Situated between the actual library and the city, the entrance hall is a universe on its own, a place where the collective and cultural qualities of downtown spaces are combined. The entrance space can be gallery, living room, park, boulevard, meeting point, education room or garden at the same time.

The park on the roof of the library continues the shape of the hill by embedding all parts of the building into the landscape. But even though the library is built into the surrounding hill to make it less obtrusive, its design allows views deep into almost every part of the building. The park is not only a retreat for recreation, but facilitates the library's natural openness and transparency. While respecting the structure of the city, the building offers a new quality space to the citizens of Kazan.



8 photos and 6 drawings