• ремонты от компании StroySila
  • укладка тротуарной плитки
  • Library-upgrade 2010

    South-Transdanubian Regional Library and Knowledge Centre, EKF 2010

    Architects: Mihály Balázs, Tamás Tarnóczky, Balázs Tatár
    Text: Krisztina Somogyi
    Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

    The investment of the South-Transdanubian Regional Library and Knowledge Centre was the last one to be included in the projects Pécs submitted in its application for the title of European Cultural Capital in 2005. However, it was the first of the major public buildings to be completed: it was inaugurated on September 8th, 2010.

    By integrating the Municipal Library of Pécs, the Győző Csorba Library of Baranya County, the Central Library of the University of Pécs, the libraries of the Faculty of Administration and Law and that of Economics a new complex institution treasuring appr. 1 million books on an area of more than 13,000 m2 was created including auditoriums, conference rooms, music collection and children’s library. The building was actually constructed within a year’s time by Gropius Zrt. at a net price of 3,798,480,000 HUFs, 84 % of which was provided by sources of the European Union.
    It is not by chance that I am starting this article with statistics as I am sad to experience that general news about buildings and public places exclusively focus on quantity and dimensions. No mention is made of the idea manifested in the building, the complex system of correlations between the structure and people or the architectural work itself: it is as if buildings would only have material parametres in our reality. However, the physical reality of the Knowledge Centre completed now defines and phrases the new roles of libraries as well as the local and global changes of culture.
    What are the functions of a library in the 21st century? In the project description submitted in 2007 Mihály Balázs tackles these issues as a dichotomy: he is considering both the solemnity and sanctity of historic libraries and the everydayness and rapidly changing character of book consumerism today. Since the 1980 it has asserted that the Gutenberg Galaxy is over. The way and order of acquiring and sharing knowledge in the digital era is essentially different from book-based cultures, which induces basic social changes. The logic of the interiors of the library in Pécs and the dranaturgy of space utilization in this changing cultural medium wishes to be user-friendly. The foundation is creating order. Transparent, easy-to-grasp orientation, exactness and proportionateness. Both the horizontal and vertical structuring follows a clear, easily legible logic, which is quite an achievement in itself compared to the complexity of the programme and the institutional background. There are no wasted spaces and superfluous deviations: the horizontal plan is a etically disciplined one. Besides the traditional function there is new demand for the articulation of space: meeting points, communal micro-environments are upgraded in this building. Some of the passages and corridors also encourage us to stay by providing the experience of „presence there”. Libraries may not be the primary venues of information acquirement any more, but they still remain significant public buildings the community-building roles of which are getting more and more important. Nowadays people can go to a library also to meet others either it is arranged in advance (from having a coffee through conferences to joint learning), or happens by accident, which is a coincidence resulting from the very nature of the situation. In this respect the library of Pécs creates rich and versatile spatial potentials for communication. The proposal of the architect is in harmony with the experience of sociologists, although in the digital era reading tends to be a communal act once again: despite the existence of virtual communities solitude and loneliness are the reality for more and more people. The library (just like many other cultural public institutions) are also to mitigate the case.
    In experiencing staying there and creating personal situations the Beehive („Kaptár) comes to play a key role: it is an organic component connecting the levels of the free-shelf reading room. Its engineering construction is excitingly counteracted by this arched form dividing space into independent parts of visual micro-environments. The appearance of the Beehive is also a genuine spectacle in this space. Viewing through the spy-holes the interior surface of this form clad in ceramic we are taken into a totally different dimension of thinking. Interpreting the arched form in the semicircle of storeys it seems to be a solution counterbalanced by the otherwise rational organization of the levels. The view may change into a personal and unique as well as perspective and abstract. Piercing through the top ceiling the Beehive appears as a form in the roof garden between the children s library and the music collection. Although execution at this stage slightly weakens the elegant architectural conception, it is quite an achievement even so: a serious architectural confession on the whole which joins the secret garden approaching the sky and associates all this with youth and music,
    Another important issue apropos of the library is the relationship between the building and the city. Today it is perceptible that the enormous library appears as a dignified one to present unique architectural qualities in an environment with uncertain identity. Although the publisher suspected at the time of tendering that the new public buildings in the ECC (European Cultural Capital) district shall be strung along a pedestrian promenade, and thus the library is also located in a grove in the first sketches, the area has not been transformed eventually. According to the concept the building with a pentagonal horizontal plan leans against the unfortunate structure of the neighbouring dormitory with its back, and with a sweeping gesture it points at the inner city with an unusually acute angle. The library towers high above its environment also in the wider sense both physically and intellectually. Growing out of a grass-stone plinth, the house enveloped in glass with ceramic coating appears as a soft silhouetted body: on its surface inner light weaves through here and there. As a result the facade reflects itself, making the colour temperature of the outer world legible. Surfaces of the building reveal themselves as free compositions: those who have feeling for this may as well interpret them as enormous pictures, which makes us think about the correlations of freedom and self-discipline.
    I may not even have to say that there is a striking contrast between the building and its environment. It is a peculiar experience: the silence of the building proves to be stronger than the noise of the outer world. Much in the same way as the construction of the inner space is based on a future concept of culture, the exterior of the building is also ahead of its age. Because Pécs lives its everyday life like a suburb there: in the lane between main road No. 6 and Universitas Street this utilization has been standardized and generalized in buildings with temporary or transitory qualities. The library actually exists in another hopeful city already. It has got enough time and thus patiently waits till the impending inauguration of the Concert Hall and till the Zsolnay Cultural District boosts life, and finally Balokány grove is restored and extended as far as the inner city. The house thus awaits, hopes and trusts that this will happen but does not demand anything. The meeting point suggests new viewpoints besides interior and exterior appearance. The southern entry of the building is prioritized: it leads us through the interior of the organic form mentioned before. The inner surface of this spacious domed space is a distinct and independent artistic composition designed by Márta Nagy ceramic artist invited to take part in the project by Mihály Balázs, whilst its components were manufactured by the Zsolnay factory with due care. On entering the building we are welcome by a selfí-sufficient universe: the need that the local culture of Pécs should actively shape the house is being realized here. Whilst the entire building is meant to express its message via contemporary technologies and what is even more important: exclusively by the visual linguistic means of architecture, with scales, proportions, spaces, orderliness, rhythm and emphasis, the inner world of the Beehive was realized with craftsmanship methods, it exerts its influence with additive logic, narrative intentions, rich emotions and meanings resulting from the palette. One of them creates an engineering order, whilst the other operates with a calculated chance and eventuality. The Beehive library is an organic part of contemporary global architectural culture associated with traditions both in the spirital and physical sense. The basic unit of the Beehive is a triangular hand-sized glazed tile, the pattern of the ceramic tiling on the building facade travertine structure of the plinth is provided by a hardened and magnified tracery.
    The creation of the Beehive is also an important gesture: the experience we can gain there and the level of abstraction a work of art more easily addresses the city-dwellers of Pécs than the house as such. It is easier for people to love it, it is more understandable for more people: its beauty can be experienced by a wider public. It is presumable that in publications on Pécs this square shall be included as a rule: as it is a unique phenomenon attracting people with its symbolic phrasing, association with the local traditions of the ceramic industry and a work of art with vast dimensions. The universe of the Beehive is wonderful indeed. It is an invitation to move toward a pure architecture which speaks of beauty, our knowledge of the world and human beings at least in such a complex way and with so rich meanings but more quietly and indirectly. Considering the fact that the concept of a cultural capital should not essentially be about representation or the attraction of tourists but the promotion of the development of the city via culture, we may as well rate it as worthy success. By all means the library – both as a function and as a building – is a work of art meeting serving this purpose quite well.

    Architecture: Balázs Mihály, Tarnóczky Tamás, Tatár Balázs
    Ceramic work for ’Beehive’: Nagy Márta keramikusművész
    Fellow architects: Török Dávid, Falvai Balázs, Báger András
    Interior design: Frank György, Fábián Péter
    Landscape: Kovács Árpád, Lukács Katalin, Tihanyi Dominika
    Electrical engineering: Nyári Ilona, Krén József, Osztrovszki Emese, Farkas Anikó
    Installations: Mangel Zoárd, Kovács Zsolt, Kerék Attila
    Structure: Dr. Medek Ákos, Komáromi Gergely, Szarka Gergely, Volkai János, Ambrus Roland
    Soil mechanics: Petik Árpád, Gyöngyösi Tamás
    Traffic: Szegő János, Randrianasolo Daniella
    Library technology: Ramháb Mária, Mader Béla
    Insulation: Horváthné Pintér Judit
    Glasswork: Dr. Becker Gábor
    Main contractor: GROPIUS Zrt.