The permanent exhibition of the National Széchényi Library, entitled “Essence,” opened in autumn 2022, and won the A’ Design Award in the interior design category. The international recognition confirms the harmonious unity of professional content and the design that goes with it, reportsMagyar Nemzet.
The relationship between Mária Gazdag, the designer of the exhibition, and the national library is extremely fruitful, as a former exhibition of the National Széchényi Library also won an A’ Design Award in 2020.
Photo via Darabos György
Since 2008, the Como-based A’ Design Award & Competition SRL has awarded its prizes annually to designers, innovators, and companies who want to showcase their current project through a combination of publicity and professionalism. In the otherwise popular interior design category, relatively few exhibitions are awarded.
The exhibition, created to mark the 220th anniversary of the founding of the National Széchényi Library and showcasing Hungarian literacy,
is also special because it is closely linked to the new graphic design, inspired by the same roots, thus reinforcing the institution’s image.
The exhibition appeals to visitors from a wide range of backgrounds. Its units, that can be interpreted as stand-alone exhibits, are linked by a visual storyline. In all cases, the different thematic areas have access to extended content on interactive devices: touch screens, video screens, and sound terminals.
Sustainability, avoiding major interventions, and at the same time making the atmosphere of the vast space more welcoming and “inhabitable” were important design considerations.
The designer was careful to keep the number of new structures to a minimum in an exhibition space of around 1,300 square meters. Instead of the old, high-powered light sources, modern LED lighting provides natural light and create an environment that is exciting for visitors of the exhibition, but also a welcoming environment for the library’s readers and staff.