Work on the so-called T-Building of the Benčić complex, which will house the Rijeka City Library upon completion, commenced in September of 2019 on a gross area of 5,825 m² by the VG5 d.o.o. company.
The total value of the contracted works on the Library is 68.5 million HRK. Zem Nadzor d.o.o. Zagreb will provide expert supervision over the reconstruction. The total value of the expert supervision is 593,571.88 HRK.
The City Library and the Children’s House are integral parts of the EU project “Revitalisation of the Benčić Complex – the Brick and the T-shaped Buildings”. The total value of the entire project is 162.1 million HRK and has received grants in the amount of 68.2 million HRK from the European Regional Development Fund. The project is financed by the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020. Furthermore, the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds has approved funds in the amount of 10 million HRK for the City of Rijeka to co-finance the project, thus reducing the City’s share in the financing of the project by the aforementioned amount.
Saša Randić, B.Arch., is the lead designer of the building. The value of the fitting-out works and equipment installation following the furnishing of the building is estimated at 15 million HRK.
The main entrance to the building is located on the south side, which leads into an area that will provide visitors and users with basic information about the library and the neighbourhood of culture where the library is situated. There will be an info desk with employee workspaces in the lobby.
The entrance area will segue into the youth and the film and music sections on one side and the reading room on the other. There will be a section for blind and visually impaired persons next to the entrance area in order to facilitate access for users, while the section itself will be fitted with all the necessary audio-visual and library equipment.
A stairway will ascend from the entrance area to the first floor and the fiction section, which will contain special collections. From there you can continue to the central area on the 1st floor and climb the stairs to the specialised literature section and other special collections on the 2nd floor.
A computer classroom will be located on the third floor and will double as a venue for screenings, lectures and meetings. Users will also have access to the area containing a library collection and several study sections, since borrowing books will not be allowed in this section.
The area will be handicapped-accessible.
The building comprises a lower level, ground floor and three floors covering a gross area of 5,825 m². This architecturally and historically significant structure is an invaluable example of late-19th-century industrial architecture and a classic example of a production building of the time.
The original outline, openings, structural and design components, materials and construction methods will be taken into account during the reconstruction of the building.