Transforming Moscow’s Libraries; All 448 of them!
A beautiful thing is happening to the public libraries of Moscow.
Armed with extensive research on the benefits of a vibrant public library system a group comprised of the architectural firm SVESMI, lead by Sverdlov, urban designer Paola Viganò, and the Muscovite bookseller Boris Kupriyanov got the ear of Moscow’s Culture Minister.
In a nutshell:
the number of libraries per capita in Moscow rivals other European cultural capitals yet, prior to the inception of this project, were unpopular and disproportionately underpopulated public places. The vast majority of them remain dense with unfulfilled potential and, according to SVESMI, “do not play any significant role in the shaping of the city’s cultural landscape.”
Armed with a research document demonstrating, among other things, that Moscow spends €43 per visitor per year compared to Amsterdam which spends €4,50 per visitor per year, the team had a degree of leverage to convince Sergei Kapkov, Moscow’s Culture Minister, to help set the project in motion.
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pictured above: Dostoyevsky Library Interior Before and After Renovation. Image © Frans Parthesius