Architectural Design by KATJA HOGENBOOM STUDIO.
Libraries are being renovated, because their role has changed. For this project I developed the idea of the library as urban living room of the city, not an archieve with some places to work, but a urban living room and urban street to brows for information, to study and work individually but more and more in groups, a place where knowledge and people meet, and where you can work in silence.
The building is a structuralist building from the ’80, with all its limitations.
Three unique aspects of a library where of importance in the redesigning.
1) firstly the Representation of knowledge, through a monumental expression of this knowledge with a panorama of books, the physical presence of the books is key. Books being the unique feature of the library, also the presence of books making the library more than just any other office.
2) Secondly, the library as living room: bringing the everyday live inside the library. To access information through the Internet does not need a fixed place, or you can do it at home as well. The way the library can compete with the living room at home, is that is a place where you can meet other people, encountering knowledge, and maybe even unexpectedly encounter new other people, ideas and books. But at the same time having the comfort of being in your own home, through different type of spaces, lounge space, more private corners with comfortable chairs.
3) Third, the work place: the library is competing with the workspace at home and comfort this includes. The extra values the library can offer is that of silence and concentration, while at the same time the feeling of being part of bigger whole, of people and knowledge. Away from distractions of the home.
It all starts on the ground floor with the lounge space, which functions as the big urban living room offering all the visitors, a newspaper, magazine, book and a nice seat to read and meet.
Year Realised 2006-2008
Location Leiden, NL
Type Architectural design
Size 1000 m2
Client Leiden University