When a library is more than a library

Kerry Boettcher
Friday 01 May 2015

Selim Senin has submitted his Future Project design for a new Copenhagen Library that offers more than just books

Future Projects are concepts or creations, which push a specific typology forward and embrace a holistic and effective approach to architecture. WAN will be featuring a selection of Future Projects Award entries in conjunction with WAN Awards, in our new Future Project of the week series. This week’s Future Project is the Copenhagen Library.  

Selim Senin’s design for the Copenhagen Library abounds with the very uniquely Danish concept of ‘hygge’, which embodies the feeling of comfort, cosiness and connectedness. There are spaces where people can spend time together and talk to each other, as well as take part in sporting activities, watch movies, and make presentations. 

Senin’s proposal is not merely a library, but a space where urban life unfolds, integrating with the city around it. Deviating from the old-fashioned concept of what a library should be, this building has the potential to be a real community space which people can enjoy both day and night. 

The building façade is aligned to the adjacent building and faces the road on one side, and the sea on the other. The building can be entered via two separate entrances on the sea side and the road side. On the entry level, there is an information desk, café, bookshop, children’s play area and lavatories. On the side of the adjacent building, stairs and elevators take visitors to the upper floors.

The first floor encompasses the large, open-plan multimedia area, which is bathed in light which filters in through the mesh envelope.

On the top floor, the conference hall stretches out above the terrace, acting as protective eave hanging over it. With its outside ramps and cantilevered conference hall, it is hoped that this new building will be a new symbol that adds value to Copenhagen. 

The plot, which is currently empty is borrowed from the city and given back thanks to the terraces over the building. Locals and tourists who come to walk in the seaside area can continue their journey over the building. 

Overall, in addition to the defined function inside, libraries can be more than just libraries, and can act as urban focal points where the entire community can come together and learn from one another.

To read about more Future Projects see the list below:

Quilted City

Kerry Boettcher

News editor

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