Parametric design and creative ingenuity have created a stunning public street library in Bulgaria that gives citizens the opportunity to access books for a little ‘old school’ reading experience.
Nature inspired this stunning street library but it was computers that made the design possible. A team of young architects and designers created Rapana, the first street library in the city of Varna, Bulgaria, using parametric design tools Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. The Rapana street library is built from 240 CNC-milled timber pieces fitted together into a curvaceous pavilion that provides shade, seating, and room for 1500 books.
The team of designers—Yuzdzhan Turgaev, Boyan Simeonov, Ibrim Asanov and Mariya Aleksieva—created the Rapana library in response to what they perceived as a diminishing interest in books in the digital age. Rapana was funded by the European Youth Capital, which had awarded the city of Varna with this year’s title. Varna’s seaside position and reputation as the “marine capital of Bulgaria” inspired the designers to craft the library into the shape of sea snail shell.
“The design was inspired by nature and its organic shapes,” wrote the designers. “The installation takes into consideration the most important aspects of the city’s identity – the sea and its value to Varna’s citizens. The abstract construction unravels from a single focal point and develops into a semi-circle while creating a public space and shelves for placing books at the same time.”
The team used 3D modelling to test over 20 concept designs before choosing a final design that fit the budget and conveyed the open library concept. The curvaceous library features two openings, seating, a tiny stage for performances, bookshelves, and a latticed shade structure.