BIG beats out Foster and Hadid in design competition for Kazakhstan's National Library
Invited as one of five pre-selected architect-led teams that included Lord Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid, Copenhagen-based BIG was awarded first prize in an international design competition for the new National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan. The 33,000-square-meter facility will be organized as a “circular loop of knowledge” that allows for clear, intuitive orientation of the vast collection that will populate the shelves of the library. The building form is composed of two interlocking structures—a circle and a spiral—that will be wrapped in a continuous skin, creating a Möbius strip volume where the facades move from inside to outside and back again. At the heart of the building will be a domed courtyard.