National Library of Liechtenstein, Vaduz
The National Library of Liechtenstein is to be given a new home in the present-day post office and administration building in Vaduz. Dating from the 1970s, this building is to be completely renovated and redesigned to suit its new function. The competition entry, which was awarded 2nd prize, succeeds in upgrading the immediate surroundings of the National Library and creates a connection between the pedestrian zone of Vaduz and the busy Aeulestrasse.
The entry proposes a clear compact building, freestanding on all sides, which presents itself to both visitors and passers-by as a striking volume. To achieve this the flat existing counter hall is demolished. The entrance and those functions in the interior that are used intensively by the public face onto a forecourt, which underlines the library’s importance and aspirations as a public facility and weaves the location as a central node into the urban fabric. Wide flights of steps that one can sit on link the library entrance to the bus stop and other pedestrian routes.
In the entrance to the new National Library visitors are met by a winding, free-standing wooden staircase that leads up to the first floor of the open library, and by a reception desk, also freely placed in the open system of spaces between the children’s library and the café. The existing lift and staircase core serves as the central circulation for all storeys, while spiral staircases additionally connect the various public areas with each other and generate a sequence of spaces that leads up to the roof terrace.
In terms of expression the library is oriented on the materiality of the existing dismantled facade, showing respect for the identity of the existing building. While several of the old facade panels are reworked and used at places, in general a delicate mesh of expanded metal in the same colour extends across a wooden substructure. The existing garage entrance on the library forecourt is given a new cladding of exposed concrete. The building’s homogeneous facade helps it to fit into the sequence of important monolithic buildings in the centre of Vaduz, but the front-hung cladding gives it a far lighter and more transparent expression.
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