If heaven should look like a library, then the library built in Norway is the closest to heaven. It is the Oslo New Public Library located in the Bjövika area of Oslo. The Oslo New Public Library was designed by the young design firm Lund Hagem Architects and the veteran design firm Atelier Oslo. The main purpose is to create a modern place where you can explore and host all kinds of activities, through an open and attractive architectural space. Encourage people to constantly discover new things. In the 2009 International Architecture Competition, the organizers hope to provide readers with a modern library space with brand new facilities. The winning proposal of the two design firms is to provide people with unexpected space corners by opening the overall space design to create a unique environmental experience. With its sustainable and cutting-edge design concepts, the Oslo New Public Library has become one of the model projects of Future Build.
Facing the beautiful Oslo Fjord, the new public library is the center of Oslo’s touristy port and the new cultural center of Oslo. It brings together many of Oslo’s iconic landmarks including the dreamlike Norwegian National Opera. building. This “Norway’s largest bookshelf”, which the entire country has been waiting for, took 11 years to build and covers an area of 14,000 square feet. It was originally scheduled to officially open to the public on March 28, 2020, but it was postponed to June 18 due to the new crown pneumonia epidemic.
Inject sports vitality
The architectural concept of the two design offices is based on “large central continuous space extending to the entire floor”, and the indoor and outdoor functional designs are very distinctive. Through innovative solutions for facade, ventilation and material use, the new public library is cast into an environmentally friendly building. Due to the relatively small area of the project site and the restriction of building height, an extension building like a cantilever was designed on the highest floor to avoid stacking too many floors and make it very conspicuous in the surrounding environment. The architect designed a special geometric structure for the bottom of the cantilever to provide the necessary structural strength and protect the entrance. The huge cantilever not only shows the magnificent posture of the building to the city, but also preserves the view of the nearby opera house.
The upper two floors of the building are displaced and protruded outwards, resembling a stack of books suddenly enlarged by a thousand times. At the same time, a large amount of glass material is covered on the facade to make the huge building appear very light and connected by a gradual roof. Created a changeable resting place, keeping in touch with the landscape of the Oslo Fjord. Triangular folding panels and skylights form the top interface of the atrium, introducing the external landscape into the interior and creating the diversity of the internal space. In order to adapt to the changes in building functions, variable enclosure components and furniture facilities are used to create a flexible and variable internal space. The seemingly messy abstract lighting decorations are actually made by specially invited artists. Even the tables and chairs are in a typical Nordic minimalist style, injecting sports vitality into the entire space. More neutral colors and durable materials are used in the open area to make the reading space comfortable and quiet. The concrete structure surrounding the “light well” and inside the folding roof has a high degree of durability, making the library space more recognizable. Insulation panels and glass panels with smaller widths are alternately distributed on the façade, taking into account the high efficiency of the thermal insulation performance and the uniform lighting.
In order to enhance the openness of the building and establish its relevance to the urban environment, the architects deliberately designed the facade of the ground floor into a fully transparent form, using heat insulation panels and glass panels to be installed alternately, which has the effect of heat insulation and uniform distribution of sunlight. The cutting of the facade marks the entrances to the east, west and south, and guides people from all corners of the city to enter in a simple and clear direction. In order to ensure daylighting, the interior adopts an open design, and the interior of the space is opened vertically. Three eye-catching “light wells” (light enters the building from the roof skylight and ground entrance, connected to form three main natural light sources) penetrate the roof and the ground. They start with three entrances, cut diagonally across the building from each entrance, and run through the entire building diagonally, allowing people to see different areas of the library. In addition to connecting with each floor, the “light well” also communicates with three large skylights in the roof honeycomb. Through the large skylight and the surrounding glass curtain, the daylight is sufficient. The skylight structure adopts a folded geometric shape, which not only guarantees the structural strength but also has a unique sense of order and beauty. The collision of light and buildings creates an amazing design beauty. The diffuse reflection glass in the interior relaxes the sense of closure brought by the heat insulation panels, creating a uniform and soft atmosphere. In the corners of the building, panoramic windows can open the view in different directions, adding change and tension to the interior.
In line with the positioning of the times
The Oslo New Public Library is named after Karl Deichman, who founded Norway’s oldest public library in 1785 and managed 22 public libraries. Entering the 21st century, 235 years of historical heritage has opened a new chapter. The library should not only be a place to store books, but an ideal place for people to communicate and learn. You can’t just be satisfied with the traditional borrowing and returning books, you should be more active in transferring knowledge, and active and diverse in creativity. Not only restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, but also various workshops, allowing the public to use various machines for free to create. There is even a recording room for recording audio programs, and board games, barbecue grills, iPads, etc. can be rented at the same time.
The new public library surrounds a huge, top-lit atrium, connecting the various floors and dividing them into smaller spaces for different uses. This design method can make people feel cordial to this large-scale building and have a sense of belonging. The building has a collection of 450,000 books and is five stories high. There is a cinema on the basement level, which plays different types of movies in turn. There is also a 200-seat auditorium where lectures and other activities are often held. On the first floor above the east side of the road, there is a cafe, a restaurant and a reading room. The main collection of books is novels and children’s books. It is very convenient for readers to find books. They only need to operate on the computer, and the sorting facility in the library can automatically find books for you, and send them to the pick-up desk, and even send a text message to the mobile phone to tell you that the book has arrived. On the first floor ceiling, you can see very ceremonial line art lamps, and sometimes some unique balloon installations are placed in the atrium, which is very interesting and lively. The second and third floors are the main book collection spaces. In addition, several relatively private areas such as recording studios, workshops, performance stages and game rooms have been opened for people to explore the charm of craftsmanship, show their singing and entertain. The fourth floor is 20 meters above the ground, providing a natural shelter for the entrance. The top floor is the social science book reading room, and plans for future art projects. The children’s area is colorful and eye-catching, and there are many recreational and art space installations that interest children. The hand-made area provides a lot of interesting things, such as a 3D printer, and you can also draw and create with digital hand-painted plates here. There are also unique sewing machines, and you can even make clothes here.
The traditional library is usually designed as a building with rows of bookshelves. The design breaks this constraint, creates more scattered and open spaces, and stimulates the development of different types of activities. The internal space is open like a forest, inviting visitors to any corner to explore the new realm of the library. Here you can find meeting rooms, rehearsal rooms, game rooms, exhibition niches, recording studios, silent reading rooms and other spaces. The architect arranged the enclosed space and niches of the library around three free-standing bookshelves, forming a black “bookshelves tower”, which can be used for temporary installations and various exhibitions. In addition, a relatively private space surrounds its perimeter. The architects used bright and bright colors in this area, while in the open public space, they chose relatively neutral colors.
The Oslo New Public Library is open seven days a week, from 8 am to 10 pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10 am to 6 pm on weekends. Occasionally, small bands are organized to perform, full of artistic atmosphere. Whether students, tourists or parents with children, the new library welcomes every reader here to experience the charm of Norwegian design and culture. People can freely move around in the premises or access information resources from all over the world through computers. Or find a quiet little table and quietly read a book and do your homework. Or enter the discussion room with a friend who came with you, or talk softly around the corner. Or walk to the most beautiful glass curtain wall area of the library, sit down in a comfortable seat near the giant floor-to-ceiling window, face the bay of Oslo, let your thoughts go, and spend a good time in a quiet time.
Focus on future development
According to statistics, nearly 50% of Norwegians read more than 10 books a year, nearly 75% of Norwegians choose to buy paper books in physical bookstores, 93% of adults have regular reading habits, and 80% of Norwegian parents regularly Read to your own children. The Oslo New Public Library represents the Norwegian’s love for books and culture and the continuous pursuit of beauty and design. It provides readers with a more modern and creative reading space and has become another important local public cultural facility. The Oslo City Government estimates that the new public library will attract more than 2 million readers every year after the new coronavirus pneumonia pandemic has passed.
For the opening of Oslo’s new public library, a special children’s book move has swept Oslo. In a promotional video about the event, an 8-year-old boy said: “Books are extremely important because they allow people to see different lives. Today I will take my favorite books to a new place.” Just like this A little boy and 1,000 children who signed up for the activity took out a few favorite books from the shelf of the old library, and then carefully put them in their schoolbags. They held hands and formed a mighty marching team and embarked on the road to the new library. The children passed by the Oslo Royal Palace, walked through the fashionable and prosperous commercial streets, and walked into a brand new home of books with their vision for the future and the pursuit of knowledge. They placed 6000 children’s books on the shelves of the new library. Books will continue its mission, bring more people the wonders of the world, and allow more people to live different lives.
On the top floor of the fifth floor of the new public library, readers can overlook the city and have a wonderful view of the Oslo Fjord and its islands. What’s interesting is that there is a magical “library of the future” here. This cross-century library project was initiated by Scottish visual artist Katie Patterson in the summer of 2014. Every year, an influential contemporary writer is invited to write a work in his favorite style. By 2114, there will be 100 in total. The number of words in the work is not limited, but no photos or illustrations are allowed. Except for the name of the work, other content will be kept strictly confidential and sealed. The writers who join this project need to take a train to Oslo, and after a long trek to the Nordmark Forest (the Norwegian government has planted 1,000 trees here since 2014), and pass a brief and formal The ceremony completes the handover of works. The work is stored in a glass box, locked with a traditional lock, and placed in a special small room on the top floor of the Oslo New Public Library. After 100 years, a batch of trees planted in Nordmark Forest from 2014 will be used exclusively to make paper, and the works of these 100 writers will be printed on these “trees planted 100 years ago.”
The creation of works left for mankind 100 years later also brings writers a deeper reflection on their own existence. It will not be unblocked until 100 years later, which means that they can meet future readers in the most original state without being “disturbed” by readers, bearing the impression of the “past”. For writers, “writing for the future” is also a wonderful experience. As the first member of the “Library of the Future” project in 2014, 76-year-old Margaret Atwood turned in a year-long manuscript in 2015-Scribbler Moon. This is the first invited work and the one that will be sealed for the longest time. Until 2114, the only known information about the work is its title.
“Just imagine that my writing will be awakened again after 100 years of sleep. It is an experience that has never been seen before. What kind of people will be there waiting to read my work? Those readers who have not yet appeared in the world open their hands. On the first page, what kind of first sentence will be said?” Atwood said, “I think this encounter with some readers who have not yet existed is like I had been in a closed place for more than three centuries. The red handprints seen on the walls of Mexican caves. I think people in the future may not be able to decrypt my work at all, but I think there is a meaning that we can share with each other, that is,’I have been here before.’
Times are changing rapidly. Today is unpredictable and tomorrow’s affairs are unpredictable. The form of books may undergo various changes. Just imagine, will people still read paper books by then? Does the printing machine still exist? Facing all kinds of unknowns, unique courage and superhuman wisdom are needed. This project hopes to express the hope that a paper book can still exist in the future in this way, and let people in the future feel their charm. The “Library of the Future” entrusts itself to the future and represents a kind of hope. This is the entrustment of one generation to another, which evolves into a life passed on from generation to generation. Although no one knows what the future will be, we still have to give a promise full of hope for the future.