In an age dominated by the digital realm, where screens capture most of our attention, a group of visionary architects and designers in Varna, Bulgaria, embarked on a mission to rekindle the love for books among the younger generation. Their creation, “Rapana,” represents more than just a street library; it’s a testament to the enduring power of knowledge and the harmonious blend of architecture and nature.
Preserving the Joy of Reading:
As the allure of physical books wanes among the youth in the digital era, “Rapana” emerged as a beacon of hope. This innovative street library was conceived by a talented team of young architects and designers, including Yuzdzhan Turgaev, Boyan Simeonov, Ibrim Asanov, and Mariya Aleksieva. Together, they sought to counteract the declining popularity of books by creating a space where literature could once again thrive.
Inspired by the Sea:
Situated in Varna, known as the “Marine Capital of Bulgaria” due to its seaside location, “Rapana” draws inspiration from the ocean’s beauty. The library’s design gracefully mirrors the shell of a sea snail, paying homage to nature’s organic forms. It’s a tangible reminder of the sea’s significance in the lives of Varna’s citizens and the city’s identity.
A Parametric Marvel:
To bring their vision to life, the architects employed cutting-edge parametric design tools like Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper. These tools allowed them to explore various shapes and configurations. They meticulously tested over 20 design iterations, fine-tuning the number of wooden pieces, their dimensions, and the overall layout. The result is a striking, semi-circular structure that not only houses books but also provides a public gathering space, cozy reading nooks, and even a mini stage for street artists and cultural performances.
Craftsmanship Meets Technology:
“Rapana” is a testament to the fusion of craftsmanship and technology. The intricate wooden structure was meticulously crafted using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines, which meticulously carved out 240 wooden pieces from 250 x 125 cm wooden sheets. The library’s capacity reaches an impressive 1500 books, ensuring a diverse collection for readers of all tastes.