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

Soviet microrayons were not designed for active public life, at least not for the kind that contemporary Moscow citizens need today. In the standardized microrayon environment of multistorey dwellings grandly composed around large courtyards with a school or a kindergarten in the centre, and some retail squeezed into the ground floors, there is almost no indoor space for cultural, social or political activities. No place to meet, no place for after school passtime, no place to study or enjoy a hobby – especially in cold and dark winter months.

The reborn “Prospekt” functions as a public library with a liberal policy and innovative strategy for books lease, offering at the same time the new public space to the city: a container or, to be more precise, a collection of various glass cabinets, – for the vast array of events, courses, film screenings and small meetings.

A huge sign BIBLIOTEKA, gleaming in the dark and seen from afar, invites visitors to a casual and democratic space (its design emphasises the modernist origins of the building) connected to the street through the now open bay windows.

The reading crowd at the long tables serves as the best advertisement for the user-friendly regime of the library. In the last few years, the popularity of the library increased dramatically, with the numbers of new users climbing up exponentially and the programme of events blooming with events.