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University Library // a02 atelier

Ružomberok, Slovakia

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Text description provided by the architects.

The idea of the future sprawl of the Catholic University premises in Ružomberok was already outlined in an architectural and urban design competition for a university campus in 2006. The project of a new library was prepared in 2009 – 2010 and the construction itself started in July 2011. The library building is part, respectively the first phase of the university campus design.

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Residence halls, superstructures of the Faculty of Arts and Letters and the Faculty of Education buildings, the Faculty of Law building, a chapel, new auditorium, concert hall and underground parking should be completed in the future steps following the complete spatial development study.
The building offers students and the public an access to about 700,000 volumes, approximately 500 study areas, conference and exhibition spaces and other additional facilities on an area of approximately 5 000 m2 designated for public functions.

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Due to the requirements for the library to be a modern tool of time providing information and a wide range of education or cultural and social life, the space is designed to be open and multifunctional with several ways of resource search and studies, offering secondary opportunities (e.g. lectures, training, publishing, literary and artistic club activities, multimedia activities, cultural and social events).

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From an architectural point of view, the library is interconnected to the existing (or the anticipated) volume and operational campus structure whose basis is formed by the original structure by architect Škorupa. The operation of publicly accessible spaces of the library is divided into three above ground floors and one underground floor (including the part of the fourth above ground floor with clubs, cultural and social spaces).
The ground floor consists of entrance spaces, information and control zone (registration, circulation desk), library’s spaces – catalogues, quick choice sections (textbooks, magazines, internet, freely accessible library stock, study areas and working points).

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There are open mezzanine levels extending from the library’s entrance area through all public floors, being the vertical center of communication. The second and third above ground floors contain sections of freely accessible library stocks, study areas (including a quiet study room and offices for smaller groups), conference and multimedia rooms.

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The fourth above ground floor has a specific nature that enables the visitors to view the library as a multifunction hub offering club activities (literary, artistic or a mix of artistic genres), cultural and social activities (presentations of literature and art works, exhibitions, openings, space for discussion forums, multimedia presentations, etc.).

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This includes the use of the roof space on the 3rd elevated floor as an open space for exhibitions or assembling. This space is also interconnected with a small coffee lounge at the entrance of the library. The building has been implemented as a monolithic reinforced skeleton. The facade is of vertically structured, metallic Alucobond panels with inserted aluminum windows, supporting the used raster.

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The building parts are complemented with a whole glazed facade (the administrative part of the building, the entrance area of the library, part of the study areas).
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