Since 1974, the Library has been housed in a specially built building in the immediate vicinity of the Tsar Simeon's Garden (created by Lucien Shevalas in 1892 and declared a monument of park art). It is a sought after shelter for book lovers, aesthetists and connoisseurs of music and fine arts. Contributing to this are some of the greatest Bulgarian artists, not only in the context of their generation, but also in the history of Bulgarian art.
The building of the Library is a model of the period of socialist art (the so-called “Sots” period) and presents architectural elements, works of plastic art, frescoes and mosaics from the 70-80s of the 20th century. Designer is arch. Maria Mileva, the daughter of our famous artist Ivan Milev. The conditional appellation “Sots” is an indicator of the time of the creation of a group of buildings presenting this period in Plovdiv – the socialist regime in Bulgaria (1944–1989), not a sign of an architectural style. Despite their societal characteristics, some of these buildings have their own architectural analogues in Europe (England, Italy, France), where they are transformed into cultural monuments and are examples of public and residential architecture. In Plovdiv there are examples that do not yield to world patterns in the course of brutalism, as well as examples that emerge from current trends in the architecture such as the international style and constructivism, even expressionism. A great part of the Bulgarian architects from this period have been taught by the world architects modernists in the previous decades and have managed to build a unique Bulgarian style. Architecture of the 1960s and 1970s shows high achievements at a time when different and “pro-western” thinking is considered extremely dangerous. Buildings are designed for public, residential and ritual purposes. A large number of them after the 1989 political changes lost their function due to the new attitudes of society.
Marcel Duchamp, one of the most influential figures in the 20th century art, says “... the work is a product of two poles – to the one who makes it and to the one who is watching it, and the second is as important as the first” . The works that decorate the Library have been created and mastered in time to this day. The themes, their spirit, their impact are endless and immutable.
The cladding of the building from outside and inside is made of Vratza stone, marble and granite. On the outside, on both sides of the main staircase, the prominent Bulgarian sculptor Stoyo Todorov (1919–1997) carved the impressive figure in whole-lenght of Ivan Vazov along with many revivalists and national enlighteners. The stone bas-relief depicts his literary heroes and many personalities connected with the history of the city - Plovdiv publishers Hristo G. Danov and Dragan Manchov, Petko R. Slaveikov, Konstantin Velichkov and others.
In the porch are the bas-reliefs of the founder of the Library Joakim Gruev, the directors Alexander Bashmakov, Boris Dyakovich and Manio Stoyanov. They are work of the sculptor Victor Todorov (1935).
On the first floor, where the catalog room and free access halls are located, the walls are decorated with frescoes, the sgraffito, which depict the contribution of science, technology and the book to the development of mankind. Here is the only monumental graphic in the country – a polychrome engraving on a stone – work of the graphic designers Todor Panayotov (1929–1989) and Lyuben Dimanov (1933). Todor Panayotov builds the images with a strong dramatic feeling and suggestion of the author's presence, saturated with internal tension and made with a bold graphic stroke. Lyuben Dimanov is an emblematic name in Bulgarian graphics, considered to be a modernist in the 60s and 70s of the 20th century.
A wide staircase leads up to the second floor, where are the reading rooms. Against the staircase there is a huge wall painting, paying tribute to the patron of the library Ivan Vazov and his heroes. The frescoes are made with the wet fresco technique. The images are of literary characters from the emblematic Vazov's works: “Chichovtsi” – art. Georgi Bozhilov – The Elephant (1935–2001), “Pod igoto” – John Leviev (1934–1994), “Slujbogontsi” – John Leviev, “Epopee of the Forgotten” – Hristo Stefanov (1931–2013). All three are painters-monumentalists from Plovdiv's School in the 1960s and become legendary in their lifetime.
On the opposite wall, in the Art Foyer, the stained-glass windows, designed by Nichola and Nevena Tuzsuzovi, symbolizing the evolution of the Universe stand out. Nikola Tuzsuzov (1900–1997) is a distinguished Bulgarian painter, scenographer, one of the first Bulgarian illustrators and typographers.