The new interior
When the building re-opens, which is scheduled for the first half of 2014, the indoor appearance of the BNU will be completely different.
As soon as visitors enter the building they will discover the atrium and its decoration in black and gold, and from there they will be able to continue to either the exhibition room, the auditorium, the cafeteria, or the reading rooms.
At the heart of the New BNU, the dome will allow light to enter from overhead, bathing all the areas open to the public. The central staircase will serve each of the four levels.
200 000 works in free access and 660 seated places will be available for the public on these four levels; the other collections will be available and may be consulted on request.
The areas will be suited to twenty-first century users, and will include a 500 m² exhibition room and an auditorium with more than 140 seats, both on the ground floor. On the third level, visitable reserve stacks will be created, focusing on the most valuable documents in order to present the extraordinary heritage of which the BNU is custodian.
Lastly, as the memory store of the library's rich history, two floors of storage areas, referred to as the "historical stores", still with their original shelving (Lipman shelves from the 1890-1900 period, and Strafor shelves from the 1950s) will maintain the spirit of the prestigious library at the time of its opening and at the time of its first restructuring in the 1950s.