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Library point in the building of CH Forum in Gliwice

12 of October '19
Technical data
Name: Library point in the building of CH Forum in Gliwice
Investor: Municipal Public Library in Gliwice ul. Kościuszki 17
Location: , Gliwice, 1 Lipowa St.
Author: 17 Kościuszki Street
Author cooperation: Artur Wisniewski
Construction: Marcin Gzieło, Krzysztof Marciniak


  • design
  • implementation



  • total

180 m²

In Gliwice, Silesia, the first public library in a shopping mall has been established. Shopping malls increasingly want to resemble city centers, so such locations of public institutions are no longer a surprise. The designer of Biblioforum - Beata Kruszyńska of the A la Carte studio - is interviewed by Malgorzata Tomczak.

Malgorzata Tomczak: The public library according to your project was created in a shopping center in Gliwice. How did the cooperation with the investor come about?

Beata Kruszyńska: A la Carte developed a project for the renovation of the main building of the municipal public library in Gliwice. Good cooperation resulted in an invitation to submit a bid for the interior design of Biblioforum.

Malgorzata : Did the commercial and retail space that surrounds Biblioforum influence your design decisions?

Beata: Statistics show that more than 60 percent of Poles do not read books at all. That's why creating a library outlet in a shopping center - a contemporary marketplace of sundry things - is, in our opinion, a hit. The space increasingly resembles a city center, which is why a creative library point, the first of its kind in Silesia, was established there.



© A la Carte interior design studio

Malgorzata: How do you think the functions of a modern library have changed?

Beata: The stereotype of a library from a bygone era with dusty bookcases, books bound in gray paper and gossiping librarians is becoming a thing of the past. The modern library, in addition to the intellectual legacy of previous generations, offers a series of workshops, events to develop the passions and interests of the youngest, has a relaxation zone with access to new technologies, and is no longer an oasis of silence, but a place of dialogue.

Malgorzata: In your opinion, does the egalitarian nature of the library, where one can drop in while shopping at the mall, translate into the development of reading?

Beata: Already after the first month, the balance of operations was impressive: 1,051 readers who visited Biblioforum 2,323 times and borrowed 3,227 books. Thanks to the ingenious location, meeting the needs of younger and older readers, the branch can be used when shopping, you can take advantage of the availability seven days a week, and thanks to the juxtaposition of tradition and modern technology, one can risk the thesis that such a profile of the library translates into the popularization of reading.

Margaret: In your opinion, what should an ideal library look like? What elements should be included in the design to make it an open and friendly space?

Beata: The ideal library is a modern knowledge center that is not limited to lending books. A big role is played by e-books, electronic media. Also important are workshops, discussion clubs, meetings with authors, competitions. All of this is done to make as many people as possible from different backgrounds fall in love with culture. The open and friendly space of the library combines different functions, is diverse and universal. It is a place from which, when leaving, one thinks of returning. Next to the bookshelves, where a traditionalist will be able to feel the paper, hear the rustling of the pages, leafing through some famous novel, also an Internet or computer game enthusiast will find his haven. Everyone will love it for something different.


cross section

© A la Carte interior design studio

Margaret: What were the main design decisions?

Beata: The most daring and bold decision was the one made by the investor - placing a cultural institution in a typically commercial space. The library was even meant to promote a commercial center, hence its name Biblioforum.

Malgorzata: What materials did you use in the project and why?

Beata: The interior is kept in a subdued white color scheme to create a neutral background for the book collection. The colors of white used and dominant in the interior are also intended to offer an orderly, calm, light space, conducive to relaxation. However, the space, sparing in form, was not deprived of decoration: the white is enlivened by intense black accents, and the counter located in the central place focuses the eye with its bold colors. In the open space, with rather difficult shapes in terms of design (rounded walls, a grid of steel pillars and large glazed areas), a spacious reading room for adults and a reading zone for children have been created. Mobile boxes will house interesting collections for the youngest book lovers. There are also computer stations, set parallel to the glass facade, which provides a view of the center's interior. There is also a special gaming zone, including multimedia games, and a relaxation zone, where you can browse the press on comfortable couches.

MT: Thank you for the interview!

interviewed: Malgorzata TOMCZAK

Photo: Beata Kruszyńska
© A la Carte interior design studio

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