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General Information

a name and address
1 Type of library national
2 Name of library / Name of mother institution National Library of Latvia / Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia
3 Address 3 Mukusalas St., Riga, Latvia LV-1048
4 Phone / Fax / Email +371 67365250
5 Name of the director of the library Andris Vilks
6 Contact person for enquiries Nita Apsite
b population served
7 Current readership, number of registered readers 100200
8 Number of full time students
9 Number of part time students
10 Number of staff in institution
c the old/original building(s)
11 Total floor area 16749 sq. metres
12 Number of reader seats 260
13 Total capacity of shelving 2822330 volumes [2.8 million vol. books/periodicals, 1.3 million other (2012). Located in 6 buildings, exhausted shelving space in several departments.]
14 …in open access storage 1145 linear metres
15 …in closed access stacks
16 Number of library staff 254
17 Opening hours to the public 39 hours/week; 250 days/year

The New Building

a architect(s)
18 Firm Gunnar Birkerts Architects; Modra Gelza Birojs; Gelzis-Smits-Arhetips; Hill Interanational.
19 Project Architect Gunnar Birkerts
20 Type of project
b aims of the new building
21 Short description of the main objectives and purposes of the project Six buildings under one roof, more space for readers, individual and group study rooms, dining and other amenities, barrier-free environment for disabled, increased shelving space, incl. open stacks, environment more suitable for material preservation, new ICT and audiovisual equipment, conference, seminar, exhibition facilities.
c special features
22 Site Situated on a river bank, facing the historical city centre.
23 Architecture The building references several Latvian folklore and literary archetypes – the mythical palace that embodies knowledge and freedom, the glass mountain that symbolizes the hardships one has to overcome to reach his goal, and the shape of the traditional barn architecture. Separate technical building.

Technical Information

24 Total gross floor area 40704 sq. metres
divided into
25 Open access services 10271 sq. metres
special rooms for (26-29)
26 Audiovisual 554 sq. metres
27 Computers
28 Special collections
29 Seminar room(s) 300 sq. metres
special activities (30-32)
30 Exhibition space 1098 sq. metres [Incl. Book museum 265 sq.m.]
31 Lecture hall 1519 sq. metres [Conference and concert hall ("Ziedonis hall") - 731 sq.m.; convertible conference/seminar rooms - 788 sq.m.]
32 Public refreshments 1148 sq. metres [Caffes and dining - 989 sq.m.; retail services - 159 sq.m.]
33 Administration and staff areas 7832 sq. metres
34 Closed access stacks 5004 sq. metres
35 Circulations areas (corridors, stairs, lifts), toilets, technical rooms, etc. 3168 sq. metres
36 Further information 14 levels; 11 public levels; reading rooms in 8 levels.
37 Number of reader seats (total) 1000
divided into
38 Audiovisual 54
39 Computers 330 [Stationary computers.]
40 Seminar room(s) 110 [6 rooms (6-16 pers.).]
41 Regular 300 [Seats in silent areas.]
b total potential capacity of shelving
42 Books and periodicals (total) 65000000 volumes
43 Open access stacks 350000 volumes
44 Closed access stacks 64650000 volumes [Incl. compact shelving.]
45 Compact shelving
46 Audiovisual materials 170000 volumes
47 Other Maps and globes 20000 items; sheet music 300000 folders; small prints 1 million items; manuscripts 50000 items.
48 Number of staff required to operate the new library 351
c mechanical features
49 Ventilation/Air Conditioning According to standard requirements.
50 Heating According to standard requirements.
51 Lighting According to standard requirements.
52 Acoustics The Conference and concert hall is equipped with a transformable acoustic system suitable for conferences, live music, and film viewing.
53 Lifts, elevators, escalators Lifts, escalators.
54 Book transportation system Vertical by lifts.
55 Theft detection RFID system.
56 Building management system
57 Type of IT infrastructure 10 Gb Internet; 1 Gb cat. 6 LAN and WiFi
58 Other

Schedule Of The Building Process

59 Planning, preliminary brief 1998 - 2003
60 Architectural competition 1998
61 Period of project
62 Opening of the construction work June 2008
63 Conclusion of the construction December 2013
64 Furnishing and moving the collections January 1014 - August 2014
65 Opening of the new building for public August 29, 2014

Costs (Including Taxes)

66 Site 8822000 euro [Incl. compensations to owners and occupiers.]
67 Building 197780000 euro
68 Furniture and equipment 17216000 euro
69 Fees
70 Total 267500000 euro
71 Operating costs
72 Funding (Type of commission and source of funding) State

Publications & Awards

Nomination for the AIA Gold Medal 2013
A documentary
The Chronicles of the Last Temple. Dir. Davis Simanis. Ego Media, 2013. Film, 70 min.

Plans & Photos

doctype: plan PDF document
caption: Basement Floor
copyright owner: National Library of Latvia
doctype: plan PDF document
caption: Ground Floor
copyright owner: National Library of Latvia
doctype: plan PDF document
caption: 5th Floor
copyright owner: National Library of Latvia
doctype: plan PDF document
caption: 11th Floor
copyright owner: National Library of Latvia
doctype: interior
caption: Entrance Hall
copyright owner: Jānis Dripe
doctype: exterior
caption: Principal Facade
copyright owner: Nacionālā Būvkompāniju apvienība
doctype: exterior
caption: Back Facade
copyright owner: Jānis Dripe
doctype: plan PDF document
caption: Mezzanine
copyright owner: National Library of Latvia
doctype: interior
caption: A Staircase
copyright owner: Nacionālā Būvkompāniju apvienība