The small town of Viby in Denmark has a brand new culture house and library – a new living room for the town. The overall architectural concept of the culture house is that the building is a place for lingering and staying, as well as a short-cut permeating the urban space of the town. To achieve this, the social zones and the openness of the architecture play a key role. At the ground floor, citizen services, café, flex-room for workshops are placed. Thus, ensuring an open and dynamic space with synergy between the different activities of the house and easy access for the town’s citizens. The library is placed at the first floor of the cultural house. It is designed as an interconnected open floor with all spaces linked together. Here, the library sections – targeted adults, children, and tweens – are placed in close proximity to the local historical archive of the town. A central feature uniting the two floors are the double high spaces which allow visitors to get a sense of the life in the entire house.
With the new library and culture house, Viby has a cultural building where color, scale, and choice of materials are clearly inscribed into the area’s existing architecture and in the future plans for the town. Viby has already implemented several new urban plans for the local area, and it has been important that the cultural house supports and strengthens these plans. Thus, the building is the epicenter of the urban space, unifying the many new initiatives in the cityscape. At the same time, the building draws it’s architectural references to the history of the town. The input for the facade comes from the cooperative dairy plant that was previously located at the site. The gable of the culture house with the distinctive roofs is a modern interpretation of the dairy’s profile in the cityscape, while the façade’s white ceramic tiles is a reference to the dairy plant’s industrial wall tiles.
The project has high ambitions for sustainability and the project is set to be certified within the DGNB sustainability system. In this project, the architectural team has worked with a vision for sustainability that includes a focus on materials, a resource-conscious concept for an energy-efficient building and a building that can strengthen an active local community, creating a space for the many kinds of activities that will take place in the new cultural house and library.
We work with a dialogue-based approach to sustainability, linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the DGNB-system. This way, sustainability becomes a design driver for solutions addressing both environmental, social and economical aspects of sustainability while at the same time ensuring high architectural quality. This approach also creates a solid foundation for a strong ownership of the project by the local community.