The Black Diamond

Thursday 06 Dec 2007

schmidt hammer lassen's Royal library - a library for the 21st century

The Royal Library figures among the architectural icons on the Copenhagen waterfront. The extension to the library is an imaginatively conceived monolith of seven storeys – a sculptured casket clad in lustrous black granite. The classic cube is animated by the facades’ strikingly tilted planes and obliquely sheared surfaces, and by the airy, glazed ground floor that allows the “diamond” to float. A broad “crevasse” cleaves the mass into two, creating space for a light-filled atrium. A large, vibrant, organic space set on the axis that connects the water with the city – and the new library building with the old. Apart from housing the library’s key functions, the extension incorporates a bookshop, café, restaurant, a clutch of research centres and archives, a roof terrace and the Queen’s Hall, seating 600 and providing a venue for concerts, stage performances and conferences. The library extension sits on the new plaza Søren Kierkegaard Plads – a popular focal point at the heart of the bustling life of the city.

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