Our proposal for the National Library of the Czech Republic consists of two distinct entities: the combined mass of library stacks and offices, andthe volume containing the public spaces of the li-brary. The ‘waffle’ serves as a means of storage and collection management; the transparent plinthaccommodates consultation spaces and the visiting public. This organization allows us to show the collections as a public volume, and its incrediblemass also acts as storage for environmental performance. The inertia of the mass stabilizes the internal temperature cycle throughout the year, andthe system works with no active heating or cooling.
The shape of the waffle allows natural light and air to reach all levels, especially the public floors at ground level. It is supported by ten structuralcores within which all the vertical circulation of people, goods and documents within the library is organized.
The plinth containing the public areas of the library is a completely transparent glazed volume that enables a visual relationship with the surrounding landscape. The volume of the waffle is wrapped in a skin of scales, which are at times translucent, and at times reflective. Thelibrary’s big mass can thus communicate in a versatile way with the surrounding landscape, urban context and environment.