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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Varna Library design in Bulgaria by Spatial practice

 
March 8th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Spatial practice 

spatial practice design for the Varna Public Library Competition has been shortlisted and selected 3rd place among the winning entries.  The design of the 28,000sm public library was selected among 370 entries.

main view , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

main view , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

  • Architects: Spatial practice 
  • Project: Varna Library design
  • Location: Varna, Bulgaria
  • Project Team: Erik Amir, Dora Chi, Jason Loo, Ryo Otsuka, Eric Yuen
  • Render: Karol Borkowski
  • Client: Municipality of Varna
  • Project Area: 17,235 m2 (above ground) 11,000 m2 (below ground)
  • Number of Stories: 8 (above ground) 3 (below ground)
  • Building Height: 30.5m

urban view , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

urban view , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

Today, the impact of virtual and digital influence is quite often celebrated through social media and other mediums, we live in a world today that aspires to be more connected and exposed. The role of public space is being redefined. No more traditional mono-functional spaces that allows one program to manifest, rather platforms that allows anything to happen is the real tool of design in the urban realm – place where different things could happen and different sections of society could meet.  Libraries today are still functioning as a castle in a city, a place that holds books and allow readers to enjoy that moment. The relationship between in and out, old and new, archive and collection is seen as a wind that pushes you to the future rather than an anchor that holds you back.

night view, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

night view, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

The Varna Library is an attempt to break the typical configuration of a library, a place where the ground is liberated and become the city “Living Room”. A place where visitors and library goers can meet and exchange ideas and promote knowledge, while at the same time allow the citizens to have an extension of their own living room.  The atrium serves as a vertical living room allowing sections of the library to overlap and expose different kinds of visitor interaction – to meet and exchange ideas – the Vertical human promoter.  The design grows from the existing public space network, utilizing its unique site relationship with the adjacent Municipal Hall; as visitors strolling along Varna’s green public passage are led into the new Library.  The green belt is extended into the design with green pockets on every platform of “Knowledge” seamlessly integrating landscape with reading spaces; thus blurring the relationship between close and open, free and paid.

interior view, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

interior view, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

The library floats above the heavy concrete archives that hold Varna’s vast library collection and history. The relationship between old and new, past and future is conceptually built to help mitigate the relationship.  Recalling Varna’s history with timber and commitment to sustainability timber mullions provide warmth, elegance and softness to the surrounding concrete neighborhood.  The folding facade lures visitors into the internal street; bringing a new element to the existing public space system. The rigid, flexible floor plates become playful with free flowing reading spaces at its periphery. The library embodies the idea of reading on a wooden terrace, feeling a gentle breeze, overlooking the sea.

city view , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

city view , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

reading space, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

reading space, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

site plan, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

site plan, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

concept diagram , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

concept diagram , Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

ground floor plan, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

ground floor plan, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

plans, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

plans, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

circulation diagram, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

circulation diagram, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

section a - a', Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

section a – a’, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

section b - b', Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

section b – b’, Image Courtesy © Spatial practice

Spatial practice:

spatial practice believes in greatness. We strive to realize desires and dreams.

spatial practice is an accumulation of ideas, people and circumstances. We believe that true design is about bringing order into complexity – a dynamic complexity – the essential feature of human beings, a culture, or a society.

We look beyond basic conditions and restrictions – such as site, zoning, program and budget – to identify the essence of each spatial intervention. We catalyze architectural and formal thinking into a deeper context that concerns human interactions in specific cultural, social, and economic settings.

Committed to creative-thinking and thorough decision-making, we design as a team. We collaborate with some of the best creative minds from different fields to create a dynamic and open platform that confronts and addresses spatial issues with a wide spectrum of insights.  In constant operation, the office’s research arm, spatial tactics, strategically nourishes this platform through continuous investigations, lecture series, publications by playing with polarities and differential, from ordinary to extraordinary.

Since its formation, spatial practice has paid particular attention to materialize the concept by confronting the necessary constraints along the way. We devote equal rigor and criticality to every project stage, regardless of scale.

spatial practice is formed by Dora Chi & Erik Amir as a collaborative office for architecture, urbanism and design.  Current projects include residential towers in Taiwan, mixed use towers in China, spatial installations and villas in Hong Kong, a fashion showroom in Paris, and an ongoing research for high-dense urban environments.

Erik Amir is DPLG registered architect. He began his academic venture at Politecnico di Milano (Italy), continued to École Nationale Supérieured’ Architecture de Paris La Villette for a Master of Architecture, and then to the United States at Georgia Institute of Technology receiving a Master of Science. His work has been recognized by the Emerging New York Architects Committee, AIA-NY and the French Institute for Architecture. Erik previously worked with Michael Arad on the WTC Memorial for the victims of 9/11. He collaborated with Rem Koolhaas at OMA in New York and Beijing to lead design teams on prestigious international projects such as the Taipei Performing Art Center in Taipei and the award-winning residential complex Interlace in Singapore.  Erik is an Assistant Professor at Hong Kong University Department of Architecture.

Dora Chi is an American, New York State registered Architect and LEED accredited professional; she received her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. Her passion for sustainably built environments has her advocating the realization of ecological design. She was awarded with research grants from Cornell University and the American Institute of Architects to conduct research on massive urbanization in China. Previous experiences with I.M. Pei Architect, Handel Architects, and Foster and Partners include prestigious international projects ranging from large scale high-end residential buildings, international cultural and mixed-use buildings in the United States, Middle East, and Asia.

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