University of Warsaw Library (Poland)
Posted by: Yuriko*
N 52° 14.536 E 021° 01.481
34U E 501685 N 5787985
Quick Description: A library with a botanical garden on the roof
Location: Mazowieckie, Poland
Date Posted: 7/9/2012 2:55:52 AM
Waymark Code: WMEV9R
The University of Warsaw Library is situated in Powisle district in Dobra street. It is located between Wisla (Vistula) river and the main Campus of the University. It takes about 10 minutes to walk the escarpment up to the Campus and the Royal Route (Krakowskie Przedmiescie street). The building was designed by architects Marek Budzynski and Zbigniew Badowski and opened on the 15th of December 1999. The previous nineteenth century building was designed to hold up to 750 000 items. Already in the 1930's the capacity was exceeded and a new place to keep the collection was very required. The political transition after 1989 in Poland gave new possibilities for development and changes in the fields of politics, economics, culture and education. An idea to move the Library to the huge building of the former communist party arose. But it appeared impossible for technical reasons. The initiative of the then prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki to rent that edifice (now Financial Center and Warsaw Stock Exchange) and to use thus generated income to finance a new building for the Library, was a mile-stone.In 1993 tenders were invited for a design for a new library. The winning project by Marek Budzynski and Zbigniew Badowski was under construction from 1994 until 1999.
This ultra-modern library consists of two buildings: the front lobby area and the main section. These two sections are connected by a small passage – almost a little street, actually – which is covered by a glass roof. Parts of the ground floor are rented by commercial institutions. The entrance of the library building proper is dominated by a large open book with the inscription 'Hinc Omnia'; the library itself consists of four floors. Guests and book-lovers have direct access to the main part of the library's bounty, which can be reached through the sides of the building – meaning that students occupying the central areas are not disturbed by visitors.
The biggest attraction is the library's roof garden, which spreads over an area of more than 1 hectare, making it one of the largest and most beautiful roof gardens in Europe. The garden is open to the general public (although it is enclosed) and is the perfect resting place not only for students or researchers, but also for Warsaw residents and tourists. The garden consists of two parts: the upper area is 2,000 m2, and the lower area is 15,000 m2, linked by a fountain of cascading water. Plant-lovers will find much to admire, and those looking for a great view of the city will not be disappointed: from the deck, you get a sweeping view of Warsaw, the Vistula river and the Swietokrzyski Bridge. The garden’s visitors can also see directly inside the library through special windows, or the glass roof itself.
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