Designed by Project V Architecture, the ‘(Tiny) Ministry of Knowledge’ is a project located on the Inter-Entity Border Line in north-west Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which won 3rd prize in the international ‘Tiny Library 2019’ architecture competition organised by Volume Zero.
The competition shortlisted 50 entries from all over the world, including projects from China, India and the USA, which were judged by an internationally acclaimed judging panel.
The (Tiny) Ministry Of Knowledge (TMoKBiH) is a response to the lack of shared libraries and education programmes in BiH, a country which has remained divided along ethnic borders since the 90’s war. A lack of public space to rebuild peace, shared identity and knowledge postwar affects the rural communities worse, where many children still attend segregated schools.
TMoKBiH proposes a shared institution; situated on a former front-line, today a hiking trail around rainforest “Lom” and Klekovaća mountain, that borders three divided communities who once lived together in peace: namely the converging point of the Inter-Entity border line that connects Drvar, Bosanski Petrovac and Petrovac, which are part of the post-war authorities of Una-Sana Canton, Canton 10 and Republika Srpska, formed under the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995.
The circular form of the building symbolises unity. The library, which seats 50 persons, is raised to the first floor, leaving the ground free of ownership. A continuous ramp provides public access to reading rooms and a roof terrace. Two rings of timber structure and book shelving line the ramp, giving a sense of shelter, efficient book storage and diffused light to the central reading room. The timber structure and transparent facade blend with the forest, while the central column and tensile roof structure give a sense of monumentality and references a festival tent structure common to the region.
The project places great importance on environmental sustainability, re-inventing traditional crafts with new technologies and working with natural materials. This building uses timber, CLT and glulam construction with an aim to evolve the sustainable timber construction industry in a country with over 56% forest cover.
This design is part of a series of community projects that Project V Architecture are designing along the inter-entity borders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which aim to promote shared education, social cohesion, environmental sustainability and tourism in BiH. Project V Architecture are currently discussing the development of the project with potential partners.