UAR Library

competition highlighted entry

The complex context for the new library and archives for UAR (Romanian Architects Association) led us to propose a building body with a simple geometry. We achieved the building’s clarity through critical interpretation of space constraints, volume, usage, technological, cultural and heritage protection required by the design theme.

Volumetric and relationship with existing buildings:
Two types of spaces with distinct uses define the volume. On the South and partially on the East side, in correspondence to the neighbouring blind walls we placed the stairs, elevator and connections with the UAR building, outlining a volume moulded by the existing limits. The library spaces, the entrance area and meeting room / exhibition define a translucent volume, detached from property boundaries or the existing building.
We felt that access to the new body should happen on the northern front, aligned with the main access of the monument building. The ground floor is withdrawn and the suspended volume of the library creates a large covered space before entry. From the street, the new building reveals itself as a surprising levitating light volume and offers a strong image representation. In respect to the existing building, we have proposed a uniform surface and translucent façade; by daytime, it creates the impression of a solid volume, in accordance with the heritage regulations, while by night it transforms into an impressive light box. The volume aligns to the bottom of the main access cornice of the UAR building.

Functional description
By withdrawing façade access and create shelter above the entrance, and the transparency of the walls, we emphasized the public nature of the new body; thereby we placed here a bookshop with sale and information point, digital research desks, one spot for hot drinks, refreshments and snacks, and a bathroom.
The rare books and drawings archives, together with the consultation room, will be located in the basement designed as a watertight tank. The consultation room will be naturally lit by a skylight created between the wall and the eastern property boundary of floor limit on the entire length of the building.
The Architectural Library with open and controlled access, with a total capacity of 485.5 ml volumes, is located on floors 1 and 2. The 1st floor reading room has a double height window overlooking the entrance on the site. The second reading area on the 2nd floor is designed linearly along the façade.
On the 3rd floor there is an ample room suitable for meetings and temporary exhibitions. At this level we find also a link with the existing building. This space has solid walls, being illuminated only by a longitudinal skylight.
The ground floor is closed with a transparent glass façade curtain wall along its entire height, as 1st and 2nd floors are covered with translucent glass elements with U section, type Antisol Profilit™ reflective film arranged into one line, forming the east and west sides of ventilated façades. Inner glass façade will fallow cross ventilation. The northern façade will be simple and consists of profile-type elements Profilit™, arranged in two layers of insulation between them, with a coefficient system U = 0,8W / m²K. The South and South-East will join with building concrete walls to neighbouring blind walls. 3rd floor covering is a mixed system – roof structure (meeting room) and terrace (area of ​​movement), using white dressing materials to minimize heating due to solar radiation.

Structural system
The structure adopted is made of laminated reinforced concrete walls, concrete floors and core composite walls for the elevator. The reading room which occupies two levels, stands in cantilever about 5m and adopts a hybrid concrete-steel structure. The basement is a rigid box with reinforced concrete floor and walls.

We proposed air-conditioning heating-cooling panels. In the air conditioning radiant heating and cooling, heat exchange is made between the radiating surface and the environment by radiation and there is no forced air circulation. Radiant systems minimize heat loss in addition to energy saving and have a significant impact on reducing operating costs. The treated air required for the occupants of the building is prepared in the usual central processing service from the terrace.

We proposed the restoration of the brick pavement and its continuing to the access area in the new building. Over the entire length of the North and East fence, a detached bench defines the boundary between the green and mineral space and leads straight to the library access; thus, the limit property turns into a valuable spatial element.




  • Maria Emilia Duda
  • Dragoș Mihai Dordea
  • Ilinca Maican
  • Andrei Victor Moldoveanu

Facts + Figures

  • client: Uniunea Arhitecților din România
  • address: 48 Calderon St. Bucharest
  • area: 440 m2
  • status: competition
  • year: 2015
  • structure consultant: DCTS Structuri
  • HVAC consultant: Traian Avarvarei