Biblioteka Bauskėje (en)
A2SM architects: Aurimas Sasnauskas, Sla Malenko
Project architects: Giedrius Mamavičius, Gabrielė Ubarevičiūtė
Team: Ieva Saldauskaitė, Joris Šykovas
Location: Bauska, Latvia
Program: 2500 m2
Status: Competition, 1st prize
Bauska is a small Latvian town famous for its nature and historical heritage. Territory of the project is on the hill over the old town near the roundabout where the main roads meet. The places which historically led to unusual rates of creativity and innovation are the ones where ideas can mingle, swap and create new forms, the ones where different people and technologies meet. Therefore we purposed a building which would provide a flexible and interactive space for people not only to read books, but participate, learn and get involved.
The composition of the library was dictated by low-rise surrounding buildings and the wish to save valuable heritage in the site – old trees and historical building. In order to harmonically integrate into the environment we decided to divide building into few small volumes instead of one big.
The functional program of the library was decomposed by different groups of target users. Each functional group got a volume. These small elements were connected by an irregular, adjusting to the trees volume – common space.
Library building volumes form semi-closed yards. Each of them has different function: entrance yard, calm yard, yard for children and car parking.
The common space in library serves as a place to meet. To meet different people which come out from business, library, administration and cafe volumes. This place would become a public space. Its a place where you encounter different events which can arouse your curiosity and inspire your creativity. This project thinks that this goal would be most successfully achieved if such a programmatic flexibility became the library’s main identity feature. In other words, if the library would be seen, understood, communicated and advertised exactly on the premise of its ability to transform and successfully host different programmatic events. An informal setting of the space breaks through social barriers. This flexibility keeps the space alive. It is not restrictive or static It is interactive.
The terrace on the roof of common space, formed by library volumes and tree crowns is like the inner yard, elevated from the street’s noise and movement, which creates a cosy space and a feeling of togetherness.
In library volume we decided to differentiate the function of floors, where ground floor would be easily transformable for various events and intended to group activities. We believe that a more open for people library is a better library. Therefore we proposed a big space for different activities and flexible furniture combinations. The tribune generates various seating conditions and usage. it can become an active place for discussions or a calm reading and relaxing palce while looking at the town panorama.
1st floor would become a calm space for concentration and independent work. This is the place where visitors can work and study individually not in groups. In this king of space it is easy to concentrate because neither view nor people are destracting attention. Therefore the furniture is also organised that it would not form groups.
-1st floor would be dedicated for youngsters. The design of the space is intended to allow 'curiosity and creativity’ to flower in the children. The youngsters space would be very equipped with technological tools. This would create meaningful opportunities for youth to learn new media literacy. For this purpose area for children is very flexible, easily changeable for different needs. Students are free to work independently, and if they find the need to collaborate with peers on a project, they have a few options for that too.