The National Library of France (BNF) announced on Tuesday a forecast budget approaching 100 million euros for the future site intended to house its newspaper collections in Amiens, which is due to open “at the end of 2029”. “The estimated budget for the project is set at 96.7 million current euros and will be completed before the end of 2029,” the institution said in a press release. “It’s a big budget, which promises to be around 100 million euros. This is what we call a major cultural project. But it’s not all about the budget,” declared BNF president Laurence Engel at a press conference in Amiens.

The president revealed the project selected at the end of the architectural competition. It is signed by the Parisian firm TVK (Pierre Alain Trévelo and Antoine Viger-Kohler), associated with the English firm Carmody Groarke. A specialist in public spaces, TVK is known for the renovation of several squares, including the Place de la République in Paris inaugurated in 2013 and the Suzanne-Lenglen sports garden in Bordeaux. The London firm Carmody Groarke has several projects to its credit for cultural institutions such as the V

“This project stood out for its very high architectural quality which has always been part of the history and identity of the BNF,” said the library, heir to that of the kings of France. It has carried out two very large-scale projects over the last 30 years. First the construction of the François-Mitterrand library, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, inaugurated in 1995. Then the complete renovation of its cradle in the center of the capital, the Richelieu site, completed in 2021. The two had cost respectively 1.2 billion and 261 million euros.

The city of Amiens must accommodate two buildings on the former site of its Northern Hospital. One will store, in much more favorable conditions than today, newspapers and periodicals (more than 300,000 titles) currently spread over several sites. 280 kilometers of shelving are planned for this purpose. The other will house the offices and workshops of the National Press Conservatory thus created in Amiens.

This conservatory “will make it possible to continue the digitization of these often fragile documents and to facilitate their consultation and their dissemination,” indicated the BNF. “A new highly technological collections store, fully robotic, and operating in a rarefied oxygen atmosphere and without active air conditioning, will promote the best preservation of documents, particularly the most fragile,” explained the institution. The project provides for “a useful surface area of ​​approximately 10,000 m², distributed between a 6,000 m² conservation building offering a capacity of 280 linear kilometers, and nearly 2,000 m² of workshop spaces for the restoration and digitization of collections” .

Laurence Engel, quoted in a press release, praised “an ambitious, embodied architectural style, seeking harmony with its urban environment, meeting all our technical requirements”.