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The new public library of Amsterdam has given not only a huge space stuffed with information on 6 floors to small and great inhabitants of the ci… Read More
The new public library of Amsterdam has given not only a huge space stuffed with information on 6 floors to small and great inhabitants of the city but also a kind of "living room" on an giant urban scale. Whoever enters the library will very likely feel comfortable and at ease, entering immediately his or her own "comfort zone". The light concept as well as many lounge places in the building allow to relax and concentrate- although the library is daily frequented by 5000 visitors. Read Less
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Public library in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
a project of Jo Coenen architects and Arup. Photographs by Antje Paul-Kessel
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 spaceThe vision of the architect, Jo Coenen, was to create a building with light and space at its heart. Arup’s lighting design creates a 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 possibleThis 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.