About Architecture

1901
Library and Community Centre, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Idea
This urbanistic and architectural proposal combines the principles of spatial design with the demands of contemporary and lively public space. The diagonal axis integrates the integrity of the surrounding public space and the interior. The terraced diagonal plane emphasises the space “above” and “below” and divides the building into two connected parts: the library on the top to the east, and the community education centre below to the west. Both are composed in conjunction with the associated public micro-spaces.

The library building is well integrated into the existing spatial urban structure and by being close to the street dominates the vibrant green boulevard, offering a variety of spaces for communal gatherings.

Site
The unobtrusive, pavilion-type building is constructed in the centre of the site and is shaped as an overlapping spatial composition. The site has a variety of public space zones around and on the building: green squares, multi-purpose grounds, seated amphitheatre, covered terrace, swimming pool with seating on its edge, and a raised garden with perimeter seating. The “cut-out” of entrances and the readers’ balcony offer covered micro-spaces with seating options. The library is a spatial extension of the public space inside the building. It starts at the entrance and draws the visitor into the library, an interiorised public space.

Architectural solutions
The inner space of the library is an integral part of the cultural landscape of the park and the newly-formed squares, while the surrounding public space is integrated into the building and immediately extends into the interior of the library.

The monumental building silhouette and compact spatial positioning make it possible to create and manage the range of public spaces around the library. The idea of making space cuts highlights the unique character of each side of the site, the main entrances, and the readers’ outdoor terrace.

The western and southern façades are dominated by glazed glass, which not only helps to reduce glare, lowers the cooling costs and minimises the risk for birds, but also provides a distinctive “soft” external look. The northern and eastern façades are dominated by blind supporting walls covered with vertically profiled metal panels and perforated graphics that are similar to the graphics on the glass façades.

The atmosphere of the main library space dominates the building interior. The wood, which is used in the floors, access ramps, bookshelves, tables and staircases that reach from the outside to the top of the main hall, is most striking. Ceramic-printed, gradient-coated, tinted glass surrounds the building giving a panoramic view of the park and surrounding areas.

The functional layout
The library and the community education centre both have direct visual contact with the ground level and there is administration space on both floors in close proximity to the library and community centre. In terms of the library as a civic centre where people meet and share knowledge and information, the public space is the essence of design and iconicity.

Architects

Dominykas Daunys, Petras Isora, Vano Ksnelashvili, Ona Lozuraityte, David Tsanava

Collaborators

KILD, Baltic Engineers

Status

Competition

Type

Public Library and Community Center

Location

Statybininku pr. Klaipeda, Lithuania

Year

2019

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