As the search for answers shifts towards Google instead of the physical library, what role does the modern library play in society?

In considering the design of a new library for Copenhagen, we questioned whether the library could serve a greater role than simply a repository of books.

The site of the new library for Copenhagen sits at the edge of the harbour, just off the axis from the palaces of Amalienborg and the Copenhagen Opera House. Considering the surrounding physical context in which the site is located and the social context of the library’s role in society, we propose a library that is suitable for the challenges of contemporary culture and meets the demand of Copenhagen today.

The proposed library removes the stacks of books typical in libraries today and instead replaces them with the void, freely adaptable by users of the building. Designed with the concept that knowledge is increasingly accessed via digital media through mobile phones, tablets or computers, the archive becomes the void itself.

The library is designed around the Danish concept of incorporation. As seen in the nearby Amalienborg Palace, the public is invited into the very heart of society rather than shut out away from it. There is a strong sense of social involvement throughout Danish culture, and this manifests itself into the arrangement of the library. Spaces are designed to be easily accessible by the public, and participation is encouraged through the use of transparent spaces, terraces and outdoor amphitheaters. The urban flows seamlessly into the building and the interior becomes part of the Copenhagen landscape.

Copenhagen, Denmark


Culture, Education, Public