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Summer reading room to be added to Trnava’s historic library

Summer reading room to be added to Trnava’s historic library

The annex will host community meetings and school events, and will be friendly to people with reduced mobility

The historic building of Juraj Fándly Library in Trnava will have a welcome extension – an elegant summer reading room located in the library garden. The annex will replace the unsightly concrete garages, some of which the library uses as storage space.

Symbiosis of nature, silence and library space 

From May to September, the summer garden plays host to hundreds of events targeting adults and schoolchildren, including a summer camp. Touted as an exceptional space located right in the centre of the Slovak city, the garden is nevertheless barely visible from the outside and lacks basic utilities, such as toilets and barrier-free access.  

"The garden creates a symbiosis with nature, silence and the space of the library,” Pavol Tomašovič, library director, journalist, writer and longstanding spokesperson of Trnava City Hall told Pravda. He assured that the reading room project, coupled with the garden’s makeover, will redress the current disadvantages.

The project, supported by Trnava self-governing region with EUR 315,000, will receive a building permit in the coming days. Additional permit is required for the construction of an irrigation system, because the design by Bocán & Bocánová architects envisions a green roof in sync with the overall composition of the garden.

Cost constraints

Tomašovič lamented that skyrocketing prices of building materials because of the pandemic blew the project’s budget up. This forced changes to the design of the reading room, originally conceived as a multi-storey brick-and-wooden structure. More space was needed, as the heritage status of the main library building prevented addition of new rooms.      

Finally, the summer reading room will represent an L-shaped ground floor building with a capacity of about 40 to 45 people. One of the wings will house the facilities, while the adjoining terrace will serve as a reading room, classroom, and space for community meetings.

As there is no lift in the main building, the annex will also serve the needs of people with reduced mobility. There, they can wait to receive their pre-ordered books, perusing meanwhile the daily press.

The library also wants to use the new building for a student-oriented project called “How to Read the Media”. The reading room will become operational next summer, but will be used year-round.

Statue and fountain

The summer reading room will be just the beginning of a comprehensive renovation of the library garden, says Trnava mayor Jozef Viskupič. The makeover will feature a new fountain and the statue of the Girl in the Shower by Ján Koniark, currently in the gallery's depository, installed in the garden. This would create a new symbolic space for Koniark's work away from the railway station, the library director points out.

Bridge to Rose Park

The local government plans to connect the garden with the Rose Park via a bridge over Trnávka River. The revitalization of the park, for which the City Hall announced a combined urban-architectural and landscape competition in 2016, is drawing near with the submitted bids under the tender now being evaluated.

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