In 1989 an anonymous international competition was held for the selection of the winning project. Snøhetta was awarded the first prize.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina is built on a magnificent site next to the ancient port of Alexandria in the historic center of the city. The 11-story library can hold up to 4 million volumes of books and can be expanded up to 8 million through the use of compact storage. In addition to the library facilities, it also contains other cultural and educational functions including a planetarium, numerous museums, a computer school and conservation facilities. Characterized by its circular and inclined shape, the building extends for 160 meters in diameter and reaches up to 32 meters in height, while it also immerses for about 12 meters in the ground. An open square and a reflecting pool surround the building and a walkway connects the city to the nearby University of Alessandria.
Conceived as a rebirth of the ancient city library founded by Alexander the Great about 2300 years ago and lost centuries later, the new Alexandria Library is a contemporary design that will contribute significantly to the study of students, researchers and the public. The design of the new bookcase is both timeless and bold. Its vast circular shape next to the Alexandrian circular port recalls the cyclical nature of knowledge, fluid over time. The shimmering and sloping roof recalls the ancient Alexandrian lighthouse and provides the city with a new symbol for learning and culture.
See the dwg drawings of the project ... >>