The site

The site object of intervention is located in the southern part of Ljubljana city center. They are numerous the urban references surrounding the location: the historic weft of the city, the river with its bridges dominated by the castle hill, the views of the Alps, and closest various university faculties, the Križankemonastery, and the NUK I designed by Plecnik.

The site also contains archeological remains of unquestionable value, which have been preserved since times of the colony Iulia Emonauntil nowadays. In a site with such as urban and architectural qualities,under a regime of special protection,the approach to the implementation of apioneering technology center leads us to think acting with rotundity to get the enhancement of the historic remains and achieve a clear image in the information era.


– Urban overlap: Over the centuries the city grows not only in extension but also layer on layer. The NUK II emphasizes the successive architectural stratifications, stratum over laid from the Roman era to the present day.

– Overlap of knowledge: The physical identification of the abstract reality of knowledge is the set of files and books that summarize centuries of intellectual development. The NUK II states the obvious of that superimposed order of tower of files in use.

– Structural overlap: The Roman ruins of Emonahave direct influence on the spatial layout of the library. Not only being released, but also as promoting the structural motif of the building that is ordered from the superpositio nof five crosses which replicate the cardus-decumanus intersection. These five crosses turn on one over the other and allow the rotation of the surrounding spaceand the equitable sharing of the loads on the site. The central gravitational center is maintained as well as the symmetry of structural loads.

– Language overlap: Clear image of the proposed interventions that allows an immediate reading of the overlying strata. It is employed a resounding language that clarifies the figure-groundreading. A language of contrast in the presence ofarchaeological heritage.

The program

The entrance hall reproduces the cardus-decumanus that lies below. It is the first contact of the city and the library, and from the stand point of the circulation, is understood as a semi-open space midway between the urbanized and built.

On the floor of archeological remains there are located uses that are extensions of the activity of the entrance hall, uses of public access or with a clear public taskand even alternative schedule from the areas of work and study, such as the NUK Club,the multipurpose hall,the exhibition hall…

The upper floors reproduce the same pattern: the crosses container (storage of books,desks info, restricted areas), the library roomsin the surrounding space, and the end buildings for staff work areas.

The access

The main entrances are projected onto Emonska and Zoisova. Using ramps and fixed and mechanical stairs the accesses go directly into the main hall and the reading hall.

Complementary accesses are also planned from the block central garden.
The drive way from Emonska serves the open plan that houses the parking lot and connects to the core of the work area.


architect: Acha Zaballa Arquitectos  |  status: Competition (2012)  |  competition: National and University Library II  |  visualizer: Studio  |  budget: 33.315.000 €  |  scale: 23.236 m2 large  |  ratio: 1.433,77 €/m2  |  types: education, library  |  views: 1.890

same competition (+2)

Paredes Pedrosa | Acha Zaballa Arquitectos | Scapelab