“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library” Albert Einstein
1- The Cityscape
The competition area, situated on one of the main axes of the city of Varna, and in interaction with its surrounding cultural-educational structures, has the potential to become the main public attraction, together with the neighboring Varna
Municipality Building. The project has the purpose of constituting an attraction welcoming the urban, and establishing a public space integrated with the Osmi Primorski Polk Boulevard on which the project is located. Thus, as Einstein
emphasized, a structure for a library is aimed at, which will have the function of both a gathering public space and a library, which will never lose value owing to leaving a lasting mark in the urban memory. The setup of the structure is
based on the idea of a library having a transparent relationship with the street level, embodying the use of a participative public space and that of an urban meeting point.
2- The Architectural Concept – Functionality
The main idea giving form to the architectural concept dwells upon homogeneously integrating the structure of the library to the city, and expanding this structure to the city spine through a strong publicity. To this end, the first decision
adopted was to create an open internal passage way, by dividing the structure into two on the axis of the pedestrian bridge connecting the entrance of the municipality building and the project area. Through this internal passage, the restricted
zones – archive part, which constitutes one of the three zones requested to be included in the program, is separated from the library part. The public floor created by this passage way, which connects to the Osmi Primorski Polk
Boullevard on the ground floor, transforms this place from a private space accessible to library users only, to a public urban location. In addition, by connecting the front square to the first floor via public stairs, an open access zone is created,
which accommodates the events, cafeteria, meeting, work and study areas. The upper floors have reading zones (controlling access zones) installed around the atrium, forming in a transition from the publicity to the private sphere.
The building design is based on simple but powerful movements the parts of the program have among each other. The parts of the building program are considering as shape grammars and structuring a dynamic building based on the
intersection, junction and disintegration relations of the building ; open terraces have been created in zones that emerged from such differences. This movement created within the building forms its own architectural characteristic whilst
taking the municipality building and the surrounding urban fabric as the frame of reference.
The building has 3 different entrances in total. The first public entrance is provided through the public floor which interlinks the front square and passage zone. A rich area for urban use is established here. However, visitors entering to the
building from the front square go to the first floor by a welcoming public stairs and then to the upper floors by an atrium. The third entrance of the building is the entryway to the archives and management area from the Prof. Marin Drinov
Street. Establishing a link between the management units and the archive area located on the ground floor provided for an access of management units to the passage. The ground floor and first floor of the building includes public areas
whereas reading areas are placed to the upper floors. At the second floor, there is a welcome area for reading areas. This welcome area includes a restricted reading zone and a children’s area which are linked to the archives building by
a surrounding bridge. This children’s area becomes integrated with the children’s area at the upper floor by a reading staircase and a gallery. At the upper floors, other reading areas are positioned in line with the movements of the building,
and at the top floor they open up to an open air reading area. From that particular area in addition to other terraces and different areas of the library building, Black Sea and city panoramas are created.
3- Energy Efficiency / Sustainability
Fresh air entering from the ground floor is directed to skylight through the atrium and then to the outer space. Therefore, the building is predominantly naturally ventilated. The heat loss is prevented through exposed and non-transparent
(opaque) surfaces created within the building design, thus establishing the optimal preservation areas for the books. Open terraces and green areas are formed at the different elevations, whereas the top floor terrace is reserved to solar
Elements of project facades are dived into three categories of transparent, semitransparent and non-transparent areas. Double glazed glass is used on transparent areas; whereas stainless metal coating materials are preferred on semi
and non-transparent facades. In the design, tones of surrounding city texture are taken into consideration in the choice of material, while texture harmony and the contrast with the program units are intended.
Natural lighting is one of the fundamental aspects of the design. Separation of the archives, which need to be faintly lightened, from the building, enables the natural lighting of reading areas via four different angles. Moreover direct distribution
of light is achieved through skylight and atriums.
Considering the limited budget of the project, it is based on a basic concrete load bearing system, which will not disrupt the architectural character.
7- Recreation / Landscape
Front square on the main boulevard side and the inner passage is supported with the landscaping items, seating areas and sightseeing terraces which support the public life. A sunken view area adjacent to the conference venue is designed
in order to watch the activities from outside. With landscape items following the traces leading to the municipality building, the pedestrian road is uninterrupted and it is supported with bicycle lanes and bicycle park.
Client: Varna Municipality
Total m²: 60.000 m²
Team: Burak Yardımcı, Ali Önalp, Erhan Arslan