The project for the new National Library of the Czech Republic was developed from a play on geometry. It played with the geometry of the all-dominating surface of Letenská Plán. The surface of Letenská Plán is slit, opened and turned up on three sides in the area of the building plot. This created 2 fields of reference: one horizontal and recessed into the ground, and the other rotated out of the ground and shelf-like. Together, the two fields formed the new National Library of the Czech Republic, developed from the surface of Letenská Plán and embedded in the same.
The abstract, geometric shapes of the vertical and horizontal spaces assimilated the roads and paths of the surroundings and take them high above the city.
The horizontal part of the building is embedded into the surface of Letenská Plán nearly flush with the ground. Lighting for the workspaces is ensured by means of a deep, 3-level inner courtyard. Skylights in the courtyard allow daylight to penetrate to the parking level below. Basically, the horizontal part of the building is assigned the internal, non-public functions at 5 levels:
National Bibliography and Cataloging Division
Collection Management and Preservation
Library System Department
Library Operation and Management Division
The vertical, shelf-like part of the building is basically assigned the public and emblematic functions on 18 narrow, transparent and in part sculpturally formed levels:
Public Services with
Main Library Hall,
as well as
National Archival Collection
The upright, shelf-like part of the building permits a view of the city, while the city, in turn, has a view of the superimposed reading and study shelves. The National Archival Collection and the Parliament Library are distinctly represented in the building. They are clearly legible, brought to light, so to speak. The National Archival Collection is visible to the city as a self-contained, raised building element.