- The lighting design creates a landscape with contrasting zones.
- A system for distributing fresh air is incorporated into the floors.
- The building makes use of free cooling from the cold air outside.
Opened in 2007, Amsterdam’s new library - Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam - is
designed to connect learning with participation and experience. One of the
city’s largest public projects, it attracts two million visitors every year.
A sense of space
The vision of the architect, Jo Coenen, was to
create a building with light and space at its heart. Arup’s lighting design
landscape with contrasting zones on the large collection floors. Luminous
escalators guide visitors upstairs to terraces in the library’s high atrium.
To help achieve a sense of space, Arup’s structural
and building design
specialists cleverly hid the building’s equipment and services
from view. A
system for distributing fresh air is incorporated into the floors.
As sustainable as possible
This innovation also extended to ensuring the Amsterdam Public Library is as
sustainable as possible. The building uses a ground source heat system together
with very efficient boilers. It also makes use of free cooling from the cold air
outside whenever possible.
As well as borrowing books, the library offers people the chance to attend
special events, presentations, exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes
seven collection floors and provides a storage area for books, a theatre, a
readers’ cafe and a restaurant overlooking the city.