December 1, 2017
This Bulgarian library was designed with math to look like a whelk!
by Simon Reichley
Bulgaria, a country of renowned sumo wrestlers and high-jump champions, baller ancient cities and wicked Thracian tombs, can now add this trippy and beautiful, parametrically designed, outdoor public library to its list of national treasures.
As shown in a slideshow compiled by Lucy Wang at Inhabit, the free library is composed of almost 300 pieces of machined wood, the specifications and shapes of which were determined “parametrically,” which is to say by chaining together a set of geometric functions and allowing that system of funcions to generate the design based on a particular set of inputs.
Which is inscrutable, and also very dope!
The library, which houses 1,500 books and includes a small performance space, has been christened the Rapana Library, after the species of whelk that inspired its design. It is located in the coastal city of Varna, which you might recognize as the port from which Count Dracula conducted much of his sinister business.
As the designers told Wang, “The design was inspired by nature and its organic shapes. The installation takes into consideration the most important aspects of the city’s identity — the sea and its value to Varna’s citizens. The abstract construction unravels from a single focal point and develops into a semi-circle whilst creating a public space and shelves for placing books at the same time.”
Simon Reichley is the rights and operations manager at Melville House.