Concept designs for Oslo's new library by Allmann Sattler Wappner Architects
To find a position at the location, which seems to be already formally saturated by the expressive iconography of the opera, was the specific challenge of the conceptual design for the new Deichmanske library in Oslo.
Neighbouring the opera’s plot, the plot of the library, is derivated from the city grid of Oslo. The design is therefore searching for a dialogue in its volumetry within this urban context. Avoiding augustness and hierarchy, the plaza in front opens up towards the fjord, while the rear side of the new library links the urban space in egalitarian directions.
This new type of library is explicitly dedicated to the public. A sociocultural center interweaves areas of communication with spaces of concentration.
Next to the collection, conservation and disposition of knowledge, the social encounter and the collective cultural experience will be supported by the spatial configuration of the building. Thus, the formation of a polyvalent, spatial structure stands in the foreground
Structurally, the new library relates to the organisational system of a tree: non-hierarchical (in its direction), vertically supplied and horizontally spread.
Inside, volumes in the shape of crosses form interior spaces, which, rotating floor-wise around a central axes, are stacked and then trimmed by the boundary of the defined building envelope. Due to the rotation, a spatial continuum of terraced plateaus emerges on the overlapping areas of the crosses. A curtain of vertical wooden fins borders the terraced plateaus. The inner walls of the crosses are filled with bookshelves, which add up to the demanded 3,000 sq m. No extra shelves are needed.
All levels are connected via the central void of the main staircase. Another system of longitudinal staircases is integrated in the adjacent walls of the crosses and creates a redundant connection to the plateaus.