Gothenburg City Library receives over one million visitors every year. It is a natural meeting place and a strong cultural institution, which over the years has grown out of its premises from the 1960s. After a major conversion, the library has now been extended and has been given a new, more open facade. The library has obtained new wings and more room for meetings, learning, culture, and work. LINK architecture is the interior designer for the tenant and the millions of visitors to the library's nearly 139,930 square feet.
In March 2012, the library was closed for a complete renovation and extension. Since then, the exterior walls have been demolished and a glass facade was constructed. All internal engineering and interior fittings have been replaced, and a 39,825-square-foot extension has been added. In addition to the expanded library area, a new entrance, new group and meeting rooms, a lecture room, a balcony, a terrace café, an open auditorium, and a youth section have been added.
The library will be a source of inspiration that evokes curiosity and will be an accessible and lively meeting place for everyone. "Meetings" has therefore been a key word for the interior design assignment. Visitors will be treated to inspiring rooms, designed with great care, in which a clear logistical lay-out makes it easy to find what you are looking for. The interior takes advantage of the building's intrinsic character and simultaneously caters to present and future needs. In close collaboration with our clients, we worked with the venue's structure and organization in order to ensure that media and spatial experiences, combined with the needs of the visitors and staff, are the focus of the library.
In the interaction between the old and new surfaces, historical recognition meets an understated interior that prioritizes literature and media through the use of themes around different subject areas and a meeting place at each corner. The interior is dominated by tones of yellow brick and wood, and also colors that are inspired by the exteriors around Götaplatsen. Durable and stylish supplements have been added, with many specially designed elements. A backbone of bookcases in ash and white proudly bears the library's treasures. The shapes in the sections for children and youths are softer, the scale is smaller, and exciting spaces have been created between the curved shelves.
The modern library serves an important and complex social function. The project required a pragmatic and structured process with sensitivity and that we work closely with the tenant and with other consultants. The library is also a workplace for approximately 130 employees who have had new ways of cooperating introduced in connection with the conversion. Providing 70 workplaces for 130 employees requires a flexible solution, without dedicated places but with a personal storage space for each person. The open-plan office, with its workstations equipped differently according to the work situation, creates an environment for openness, communication, and a creative community.
The new city library was opened on World Book Day, 23 April 2014.