University of Warsaw Library - Warsaw
The roof-garden is one of Warsaw's "must see place". From the bridges and the view terrace on the roof one may see a panorama of Warsaw and the Vistula river. Visitors may also look into the Library through both the special windows and glass roof.
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The long sweeping front wall displays a row of massive pillars shaped like open books, engraved with texts in many languages and backed by full-length glass panels. The side entrance has been graced with a newer construction - a fluorescent pink, metallic scaffolding like shelves from old library stacks. The two segments of the modernistic structure, which artfully blends components of stone, glass and plant growth, is divided into a public and private section, connected down the centre by a cobblestone passageway covered by an arched glass roof.
The structure is remarkable for its use of the natural landscape and natural light. Built into the structure of the riverbank, it seems at first glance to be made of vast panels of glass fitted into sloping lawns and tangled ivy. The raised glass roof illuminates the modernistic white interior, while the open sides of the building are thickly set with window panels between simple supporting columns.
While part of the library is closed off for students, the second part is open to the public and well worth exploring, even if for its architectural value alone. The library also houses the Polish Poster Gallery, a collection of about 7,000 post-war film, entertainment and political posters, many of them rare and very valuable.
The main attraction of the library is its rooftop garden, one of the finest gardens in the city and, thanks to its location at the riverbank, one of the best viewpoints. You enter the garden from its lower stretches, round the side of the building at ground level. Several neat pathways have been laid between clipped lawns, modern metal benches and rows of interesting plant specimens. A grassy slope with a cascading fountain leads up to the roof, where you can wander under vine-covered arbors, peer through the glass roof into the library, or pause at the riverside railing for a stunning view of the Vistula, the spidery cables of Swietokrzyski Bridge and the skyline of the right-bank Praga district.