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Eva Jiricna: library and congress centre, Zlin, Czech Republic.

Founded in 2001, the University of Tomas Bata in Zlin is the Czech Republic's newest university. Zlin itself lies in the east of the country, and was Eva Jiricna's birthplace, so it is somehow appropriate that she should return there to design a major new complex of buildings that includes a library for the university and a congress centre for the city. Each building sits on a tight plot owned by the respective institutions. Their orientation and organically-inspired ovoid forms allow each to peel away from one another and establish their own clear identity, yet they are also unified by the surrounding campus landscape.

The library is composed of two volumes with a large communal atrium in between. One part houses reading rooms on five levels for around 440 students, the other contains the university's administration centre. Internal and external facades are clad in glass, allowing the occupants to work and study in a light, invigorating setting. Both parts exploit passive means of environmental control, using thermal mass of a hollow concrete core that absorbs heat from IT systems and general usage. The congress centre consists of a main 850 seat auditorium and a smaller 80 seat hall, together with three levels of ancillary facilities and a restaurant. Its glazed facade, which has both acoustic screening and sun shading, is a response to local environmental conditions. The roof has an exoskeleton containing the building's plant which is veiled in a fine stainless-steel mesh as it can be seen from above. C. S.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Learning
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:260
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