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Varna searches for architect to build £15m central library

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Bulgaria’s third largest city, Varna has launched an open international competition for a new £15 million central library

Backed by the Municipality of Varna and the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria, the contest seeks ideas for a new 18,500 m2 building which will be Black Sea port’s first new library in 30 years.

Varna’s current library hosts around 860,000 items in six separate locations and the new facility will be expected to house up to 1,266,000 volumes.

According to the brief: ‘The future building should demonstrate contemporary attitudes to books and have one clear message: “We are a modern, open and friendly institution. Come and spend your free time with us.”’

Located next to Varna’s 17-storey city hall, the library will feature an underground car park, new public spaces, flexible learning environments and traditional library facilities.  

Judges include Trine Berthold of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects – which completed a new public library in Aarhus, Denmark last year – and Kaloyan Erevinov of Zaha Hadid Architects.

The winner – set to be announced on 30 November – will receive £7,000 and be invited to enter into a design contract with Varna Municipality worth around £200,000 for the building.

The deadline for submissions is 23 November.

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