The challenging part of designing a library for this generation comes with combining the traditional with the technological. Hard copy paper books have a standing in libraries and for most are the first things they think of when a library is mentioned.
However books are not the only way in which we gather information anymore. With the world constantly at our finger tips thanks to technology and the internet where does that leave traditional books? The important aspect is to remember it has always been widely accepted that information is traditionally been stored in books, but there is also a place for digital storage to be represented in libraries in the future.
In an attempt to show the development of libraries and how they can integrate both books and printed media along with the internet and digital storage devices, LAVA Architects designed the Kazakhstan National Library. The library’s main focus is establishing site relationships in order to create an individual icon, connecting Astana, Kazakhstan, and the rest of the world. In this regard the library becomes an information hub not only for the individual user of the city but for the rest of the world as well as we all find common place when it comes to learning, discovery, and expanding our knowledge.
The design for the building is one part traditional and one part future, similar to the interior that hopes to provide a place for both books and technology. The end result suggests a modern 21st century polycentric network of relationships.
According to the architects, the outer perimeter is based on a square form in plan, alluding to stability and order often reflected in the traditional. The futuristic tendencies are represented through the cutouts in the rigid square form that creates a sense of openness and invitation while also bringing an abundant amount of light into the library and constructing more relationships, this time between the interior and exterior.