"A room without books is like a body without soul."
Cicero, Marcus Tullis
Cicero, Marcus Tullis
In recent years society and our environment have become more and more digital.
Due to the internet we can now access information, texts, pictures, videos, books and their stories wherever and whenever we want to.
The huge success of the internet is mostly based on the enormous participation factor of millions, or even billions of users worldwide, who share their skills, their knowledge and their passions with others. They make their knowledge available and accessible to others and therefore they take an active role in shaping the internet.
With the emergence of the internet and the steady availability of information, modern libraries are currently facing new challenges. The sales figures of Kindles, iPads, Ebooks etc. are growing since several years compared to stagnating sales output of classic books. Nevertheless the classic book outlived a number of different other printmedias.
The submitted project BogSamler / New Modern Library attempts to convert the basic idea of the internet (formally and content-wise) and its participative aspect into real architecture; with a new and innovative, functional and building concept.
Similar to the internet, the New Modern Library provides a simple „naked“ structure that, over time, will be filled up with book contributions by the people of Copenhagen .
In the end it will host a unique and rare accumulation of site-specific books and stories of the city’s inhabitants. Old, unwanted books, magazines or records don’t need to be thrown away anymore but can be contributed in a sustainable and recycled way to the library.
You can either contribute your object personally by going there or you send it via a new launched website www.bogsamler-cph.dk. Just click on contribute and your book will be picked up at your place. At the library the book will get a selfmade unique slipcase to protect it from any damage or direct sunlight. The colour of the slipcase indicates the genre of the contributed object (book, record, magazine etc; documentary, fiction, fairytale etc.). Therefore the pattern of the building will change by different arrangements (sorted by author, by year or by genre)
The BogSamler is embedded into a network of 20 libraries across the city of Copenhagen. Its very one time book-stock will give it a very special character in this network. The project site is located in the centre of Copenhagen close to the water at the major intersection of Frederiks Kirken, Amalienborg Slot and Operaen, as well as the former historical industrial brick storage buildings alongside the old harbour. In recent years the city of Copenhagen has put a lot of effort into successfully reactivating former underused plots alongside the waterfront.
The green park Amaliehavn, built in the eighties, and the walkway along the water are a very popular and well-visited leisure destinations for both residents and tourists.
In size and volume the BogSamler refers to the historical storage buildings alongside the water and completes by mirroring along the Frederiks Kirken-Amalienborg Slot-Operaen axis the urban landscape. The building fits functionally as a „library of the people“ complimenting its neighbours, Amalienborg Slot and the New Opera House.
From the outside, the facade of the BogSamler looks like an oversized bookshelf which will be filled over time with books. The fine and small size of the books reflects the construction method of the nearby brick storage buildings.
A nice detailed and transparent glass skin façade protects the timber frame supporting structure and library from cold temperature and rain, while the horizontal bookshelves protect the interior from direct sun in the summer.
Niches of different sizes and shapes integrated in the facade provide hyggelig spaces for reading, working, relaxing, surfing and meeting. From them you have a nice view either of the nearby Amalienborg and the waterfront as well as a view across to the cityscape of Copenhagen, or to the inner Bog Samler Forum. In this way the library can already be used by the people in its „naked“, unfilled state.
Most of the public functions like the entrance area, the Info Point, the Book Store and the Cafe are located on the open, transparent and from all sides accessible ground floor. Toilets, lockers, storage, technical rooms and smaller meeting rooms are located in the basement.
The existing trees alongside the project site will be preserved to improve the quality of a stay in the functions based on the south-facing ground floor by providing shade and protection from the direct sun.
A direct walking path leading from Amalienborg Slot to the Kastellet/Den lille Havfrue will be guided through the heart of the building, the BogSamler Forum.
This space is meant to serve as a public area in which the people of Copenhagen can come together on events, lectures, presentations, discussions, concerts etc.
Interaction and communication amongst the people of Copenhagen are the heart of the building.
From the BogSamler Forum two tribunes with integrated stairs lead to the first floor of the library. On them you can also linger comfortably, read, or listen to any ongoing events.
The northern part of the library makes up the central core, security, distributed workshop spaces and the child daycare with a playground on the top floor.
The BogSamler wants to be the opposite of a top-to-bottom-project or classic project-developer-architecture. Basically, it is a democratic project that encourages the people to take part in designing their environment and to improve it by making a personal contribution.
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