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A library was built in honor of mathematician Petr Hájek in Prague

The book collection of the Czech mathematician Petr Hájek, who died in 2016, was added to The Institute of Computer Science of the Czech Academy of Sciences, which was once led by the researcher. A separate library section was built for the books, which was designed by the Czech Studio COSMO.

The Studio COSMO won the commission in a competition to design a library from the abandoned books at the Czech Academy of Sciences of Petr Hájek, a researcher who died in 2016. The new space is both a library and a bow to the oeuvre of the scientist.

Petr Hájek (1940-2016) was a Czech mathematician and the head of The Institute of Computer Science of the Academy. After the death of the professor, the institute was left with Hájek’s collection of nearly three thousand books and archivable publications. The studio’s task was to create an exhibition space suitable for this collection and to set up a practical library that would also serve as a memorial to the researcher.

The institute designated a room for the library that does not have windows and used to be the home of a high-performance computer. Among the simple white walls, Studio COSMO has designed a stand-alone space, a kind of “room in the room”, whose position is marked by walls with openings, operating as a bookcase.

In the small reading room, dull blue walls and furniture are combined with contrasting lighting. The designers wanted to suggest calmness and dignity with the chosen color, thus paying tribute to the personality and work of Petr Hájek. On the outer sections of the wall, the visitor encounters quotations and axioms related to the researcher, and when entering the space, we can read about the life and work of Hájek printed on a semi-transparent, bookmark-like sheet.

Photos: Tereza Kabelková, Petr Moschner

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