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.