NAU‘s proposal (finalist) for the 2007 New National Library of Czech Republic Competition stands as a symbolic representation of the Czech culture; its past, present, and future. The focus of the project revolves around the dichotomy of two main spaces–the National Archive and the Universal Collection–which are wrapped by an exterior membrane. At the bedrock, the monolithic tower containing the National Archive twists into a lifting gesture towards the city center. Anchoring the tower on the opposite end is a two-story Universal Collection, horizontally floating above the ground. The external skin creates a continuous void of public spaces above and below. Transparent and permeable properties are available in this envelope, offering an array of climatic and acoustic functions including: complete transparency at the top, perforations for skylights in reading rooms, windows in office spaces, and permeable openings in the ground floor.

A staircase leads the visitor to a viewing platform and exhibition space in the National Archive, located in the space created at the intersection of the two volumes. This space overlooks the Prague skyline, which highlights Gothic and Baroque styles of the World Heritage Site, and emphasizing its national and global historical significance.

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