National Library, Minsk, Belarus
Diamond is a leader of natural jewels, and the National Library of Belarus in the shape of diamond symbolizes the enormous value of knowledge that humanity has stored in books. The building is located in the eastern part of the Belarusian capital, Minsk. This is one of the largest libraries of the world. It was designed by architects Mikhail Vinogradov and Victor Kramarenko and opened to the public on 16 June 2006. Main architectural concept of the building is rhombicuboctahedron shape (an Archimedean solid with eight triangular and eighteen square faces) with height of 73.6 m (23 floors). The total building floor area is 112,6 thousand m², including 54.9 thousand m² book storage. Construction began on 1 November 2002. This polyhedron is a principal informative and cultural center of the country. Illumination of the building based on 1985 m² façade’s color screen (media facades, on the basis of LED clusters) is unique in its ever-changing pictures and lights and during the day all 24 sides sparkle like a real diamond. The color changing system was designed and built by Walter Industries, a subsidiary of GVA Lighting Inc. The “diamond” is visible from kilometers and makes the National Library the new icon of Minsk 24 hours a day.
Virtual Reading Room provides remote access to all books. Every day the library is visited by more than 2000 people.
By Lilit Khalatyan, www.building.am