Selected Entries 2017

Nue National Library

Zahid Nawaz
School of Art, Design and Architecture | Islamabad

The library, evolving from the private collection of affluent members of society to places of community learning, is one of the oldest cultural building typologies, however these days its future is uncertain. Due to the advent of the computer and Internet, all the information one requires can be accessed in the blink of an eye. Thus it can be questioned whether the ‘library’ is doomed to fade away as a relic of a bygone era or does it undertake a new role in response to this paradigm shift. This thesis argues that with the changing times rather than coming to read, people will instead come for the social interaction and the discussionof ideas. It will come to contain far more
programs and events that the traditional library is designed for.
The outcome of this thesis is to reconfigure the National Library of Pakistan, by proposing a new wing which will have a more community based outlook, one that is more in tune with the context and times, while acting as an icon for the city. The current National Library of Pakistan is a victim of both its location in the restricted red zone of Islamabad as well as the limited programs it can accommodate. The proposed design for the new library has multiple formal and informal zones for interaction, auditoriums, exhibition spaces, study areas, eateries, and shops as well as spaces that accommodate the more traditional functions of a library. The layout of the programs is such that the public space around the immediate context is allowed to flow through the heart of the library encouraging greater interaction between users. Consequently, now rather than coming to read, visitors will come for the social interaction and the discussion of ideas, changing the format of this exchange while keeping the message same.