• Year: 2013
  • Location: Moscow RU
  • Client: Moscow Department of Culture
  • Partner: Falanster
  • Status: Realised
  • Photo: Frans Parthesius

The most central of the five library pilot projects that SVESMI has completed in collaboration with the Moscow City Library Centre, Dostoesvky library is situated on the so called Boulevard ring on the first floor of a rather typical,
dwelling with an elaborate facade.
Although well known to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, the library has for years remained an introvert space, offering little connection to its beautiful urban context – both visually and in terms of services to the city.

SVESMI proposed to exploit the library’s excellent location and its authentic space to the best possible effect;
continuing to function as a retreat for peaceful reading or working in the vibrant area of cafes, shops, and theatres in the city centre, Dostoevsky library should come to be an urban literary salon – a perfect meeting point for writers, poets and book lovers of all sorts.

SVESMI reconstruction project handled the existing spaces with extreme care and attention to details; we removed some layers of former slap-dash renovations, impractical shelving systems, and uncomfortable furniture, making plenty of room for both old and new functions. We aspired to produce peaceful and unpretentious yet effective and democratic space with a lot of air, good lighting and warm atmosphere – an interior, which opens into the city and lets the city in.

This new “container” carefully designed within the envelope of a period dwelling offers a lot of freedom and various modes of use to librarians, readers, and citizens, filling in the obvious programmatic voids in neighbourhood. 
With its digitalized collection, comfortable reading rooms and the whole array of new services, the reinvented Dostoevsky library – charming as it is – has become a true public space, valuable for locals and still visible on the city scale.