National Library PragueProject: A A DUNKEL (Basel) & Marco GUARNIERI (London)A National Library manages many different kinds of media. Its complex organisation (i.e. storage, cataloging, access management, media transportation) led us to developing a spatial grid for the specific functions and processes of the library.Some large-span intersecting trusses containing all services and providing flexible partitioning form an expandable system. It produces a number of open atria that are used to provide light and are themselves part of the climate control system. The giant "waffle" rests on ten structural cores crating an over-sized canopy at ground floor level; this is the public part of the library with reading rooms, exhibition spaces. A restaurant is located on top offering views over Prague.The environmental concept is based on two main aspects. The first is a envelope that controls the exchange with the outside climate (sun shading, passive solar gain, ventilation, insulation, daylight control). The second is the activation of the building mass as thermal storage. Heating or cooling is provided to the different rooms at the required degree by moving heat (using water) to the desired area. Combining simple technology with a sophisticated control system the 'waffle' (250 000 sq ft) is engineered to function without any external energy for cooling or heating.The articulated shape of the building integrates well with adjacent structures on the street. The entire outside of the 'waffle' is covered in of glass scales. These are mounted on flexible supports, allowing each element to respond individually to wind pressure. Varying degrees of reflectivity and transparency provide ideal lighting conditions to the inside and interact visually with the outside, changing colours according to the light.