Library & Study Center
After decades of neglect, the Lobkowicz family has worked hard to restore and protect their family’s unrivalled collections of fine and decorative arts, as well as the famous Lobkowicz library and archive housing objects dating back to the 8th century. However, the Collections urgently need to be relocated to proper storage facilities and deserve the attention of international scholars.
The Lobkowicz Study Center and Library will provide dedicated storage for all the Collections built to the highest international standards. The facility will be housed underground on the site of a former quarry adjacent to the neighboring Skala (‘Rock’) Building. Underground construction creates ideal passive storage conditions because the ground is environmentally stable, making it low-energy, low-maintenance and low-cost. The underground building will be linked to the castle, making it possible to move material efficiently and safely between the castle and the archive. Disturbing the collection as little as possible is crucial to its long-term preservation. Two new conservation studios will provide Lobkowicz Collections curators with dedicated conservation facilities for the first time.
The elegant form of the new Study Center building above ground harmonizes naturally with its surroundings. The simple form recalls traditional farm buildings around the estate. Inside, a double-height Reading Room for scholars and students will offer space for research, discovery and contemplation, with views reaching out across the castle and gardens, down to the Vltava river. The Lobkowicz Library and Study Center will take advantage of the latest digital technologies to enhance the study and dissemination of the Collections. For example, seminar and webinar rooms will offer additional space for simultaneous discussion and debate for scholars from across the world. Two other multi-functional rooms will provide creative play spaces for young visitors.