Named after Otets Paisiy, one of Bulgaria's most famous authors, this awesome new public library is not your ordinary work of architecture. Located in Plovdiv, the former old trolleybus was retrofitted and transformed into a friendly new mobile library and parked right in an important pedestrian zone in the city. Designed by locally-based Studio 8 1/2, the Otets Paisiy Public Library is part of a larger effort by citizens to revitalize this bohemian area of town. With over 600 Bulgarian and foreign books available to the public, the renovated trolleybus library is exploration and new conceptual vision for libraries.
The mobile library is currently located at the corner of “Otets Paisiy” Street and “General Gurko” Street in the town of Plovdiv. The location was chosen for multiple reasons. First, Otets Paisiy was an 18th century Bulgarian monk who wrote the famous Istoriya Slavyanobulgarskaya, one of the first Bulgarian history books, so it seemed appropriate to name the library after him as well as to place it on his street. Secondly, this street is where the first trolleybus run 55 years ago, and now the trolleybus library is parked in front of the station which continues to power the city’s trolleybus network.
Nearby, there is an important pedestrian and touring zone for the city which offers up a new life for the city square which had lost its importance through the years. In recent years a number of foundations have worked to revitalize the bohemian and historic section of town by holding festivals and exhibitions and the library is another project to turn the area around. With a lack of cultural centers in the area, the colorful library fills an important gap. Passersby are encouraged to step in and sit and read from 600 books by Bulgarian and foreign authors in a cozy atmosphere. Bright colors are used to invigorate the space and a separate area at the back of the bus provides a place to sit, draw, read or play.
Images ©Studio 8 1/2