The competition-based exhibition DESET emphasises architecture design competitions as transparent forms of selection of authors of project documentation with unquestionable contribution to the society in terms of quality of architecture. In the exhibition, works were evaluated that were products of design competitions between 1993 and 2004 and 2005 and 2015 respectively. The university library succeeded in the former. “We are very happy about this award. It is a proof of sorts that even after twenty years the building is timeless. It still appears modern but at the same time it is an integral part of the historical complex of the faculty. Its premises are flexible, allowing us to respond to the needs of readers as they change,” says head of the Faculty of Arts Central Library Markéta Bočková. Since its opening in 2002 the library has won numerous Czech awards.
The library of the Faculty of Arts was the first major project by Brno-based duo of architects and proponents of minimalism Ladislav Kuba and Tomáš Pilař who have worked together for 26 years. In September the architects won the “2022 Architect of the Year” award. “We would really like for the library to retain its unique style,” Bočková says, adding that any major interior works are consulted with Kuba even today.
The building is designed as a simple and contrasting structure vis-à-vis the surrounding buildings, which represents its significance for the life of the faculty. Contrasts are also visible inside: monolithic concrete structure is combined with tempered glass with colourful elements, steel elements in powder colour, stainless steel and colourful accents of signage. The exceptional feature of the library is the quantity of freely accessible books on four floors. Its maximum capacity is 130,000 books; it currently holds 84,600 volumes.