Warsaw University's Library and Rooftop Gardens
Warsaw Travel Blog› entry 17 of 88 › view all entries
A good friend told me that I should definitely check out Warsaw Univeristy's library, so off we went, another walk around Warsaw and another chance to discover the amazing things Warsaw offers its inhabitants and visitors! The University library used to be located on the main campus, but since autumn of 1999, the Library occupies a state-of-the art building a few blocks from the main campus, in the Powisle district where it is supposed to be the cornerstone of the emerging new campus. Originally it was located in the main campus right off Krakowskie Przedmiescie which also is a place worth taking a look at. I understand that the building where it was previously located now houses classrooms - I think for the school of Law.
The building design is the work of Marek Budzyński & Zbigniew Badowski who entered an architectural contest to determine who would design the building 1993. Their design was awarded the first prize and they were given the project. For the most part, the building is grey concrete and green aged copper - all other color is added by the books and the people who use and work at the facility. The inclusion of nature - the entire library is covered by gardens - is fantastic. (See my review about visiting the Gardens).
The Library's façade, has fragments of great writings in various alphabets and is really striking. Underneath the main inscription with the name of the library there are 8 big copper panels, 4 to 7 meters, showing the realm of knowledge, memory, and writing. There are excerpts from Polish Renaissance writer Jan Kochanowski, from Plato, from an old-Russian chronicle, from Arabic and Indian classics, from the Bible; there is a score by composer Karol Szymanowski (one of this Library's treasures) and sample mathematical formulas.