The Raczyński Library has been a major cultural institution in Poznań since its establishment in 1829. In a competition, completed in 2003, for the expansion of its historic seat, the first award was won by an entry from JEMS. The design almost triples the floor area of the historic building. The underlying decision behind the design provided for placing interiors of primary importance accessible to the general public – the information desk, catalogues and reading room – on the executive first floor (piano nobile) level, thereby continuing main architectural arrangements of the existing building. The solution became possible owing to the location of three levels of library storage space in a compact structure suspended above the public zone. This also provided an opportunity to open up the ground-floor area to the facilities associated with the library: a bookshop, gallery and cafe. After the expansion, the light, filigree, almost transparent cast-iron colonnade of the 19th century building will remain the main entrance facade. Multiple perspective and uniformity of the facade is also reflected by the newly designed elevation facing Karola Marcinkowskiego Avenue, its piano nobile level being discreetly separated from the other levels, mainly owing to its greater transparency. The effect is present mainly in a close contact with the building. Viewed from a distance, the facade becomes much more uniform, providing a neutral background to the historic building.
|Area||9 700 m2|