The Library by COBE
and Transform

| 5 comments
 

This golden library in Copenhagen by architects COBE and Transform is meant to resemble a pile of books (+ slideshow).

The Library by COBE and Transform

Libraries for children, teenagers and adults are split between three of the differently shaped floors, while a concert hall sits on the top.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Perforated aluminium gives the building its bumpy, golden facade and also lines the walls of a triple-height atrium that cuts through the interior.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Entrances lead into this atrium from both sides of the building, while balconies branch across it on the upper floors.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Windows for some of the rooms are concealed behind the metal cladding and are only visible after dark.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Stamers Kontor

The architects won a competition to design the building back in 2009 - see our earlier story for the original proposals.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Stamers Kontor

We've featured a few golden buildings in recent months, including the new wing at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. See more stories about golden architecture and interiors here, and see more stories about libraries here.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Photographs above are by Adam Mørk, apart from where otherwise stated.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Kåre Viemose

Here's a project description from COBE:


The Library is an extension of an existing culture house in Copenhagen’s north-west. The extension fulfills four main functions: a children’s library, a youth library, a library for adults and a concert hall.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Stamers Kontor

The building’s unique design is comprised of four golden boxes stacked on top of one another, each containing one of the building’s four main functions. Deliberately designed to resemble a stack of books, the building’s floors each contain a world of their own, including individually staged scenography.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Stamers Kontor

The spaces between the boxes are used as flexible spaces. Moving through the building, you experience an interplay between the different staged spatialities in each box versus an open, flexible space outside and between the boxes.

The Library by COBE and Transform

An important element in the architecture is the golden brown siding inside and out of extruded, gold anodized aluminium, which offers the possibility of varying the transparency of the fenestration and creates a uniform facade expression.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Jens Lindhe

Seen from the outside, the facade changes over day depending on how the daylight falls. Some windows are placed behind the expanded metal, which is barely visible in daylight, but clearly appears in the evening when the house is illuminated from the inside.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Jens Lindhe

North-west is an area in Copenhagen located between the lively, dense and diverse urban neighbourhood of Nørrebro and the villa neighborhood at the edge of the city.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Kåre Viemose

Many people live and work in this multiethnic area.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Yet, since the area is located in the vicinity to numerous entry roads, most Copenhagener’s only use the north-west as passage when going in and out of the city by car. Located here, The Library appears as a golden gem, beautifying an often disregarded part of town - a much needed institution for arts and culture in the area.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Stamers Kontor

Place: Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Copenhagen Municipality
Program: Transformation of existing culture house and extension containing library and concert hall
Size: Existing 1.150 m2, new build 2.000 m2
Status: 1st prize in competition 2009, completed 2011
Architects: COBE and TRANSFORM

The Library by COBE and Transform

Above: photograph is by Stamers Kontor

Landscape Architects: Schönherr
Engineers: Wessberg
Contractor: Bdr. A&B Andersen
Budget: DKK 42 m.

The Library by COBE and Transform

Concept sketch one

The Library by COBE and Transform

Concept sketch two

The Library by COBE and Transform

Concept sketch three

The Library by COBE and Transform

Ground floor plan - click above for larger image

The Library by COBE and Transform

First floor plan - click above for larger image

The Library by COBE and Transform

Second floor plan - click above for larger image

The Library by COBE and Transform

Third floor plan - click above for larger image

The Library by COBE and Transform

Section - click above for larger image

The Library by COBE and Transform

Section - click above for larger image

  • architcl

    They are boxes, not books.

  • Ian Love

    Gold anodised, perforated, and a literal metaphor. Bingo.

  • http://twitter.com/sjc73 @sjc73

    Competition won 2009, completed 2011, revisit 2015?

  • Hala Hasan

    It is a nice building. I like the concept of the building and how they played with volumes and the form that they created. I like also the different treatment of the interior spaces as it is part of their concept, the warm environment for reading space, the colored exciting space for children and the different choices of artificial lightings for different purposes, each emphasising a space. The open stairs makes the interior very spacious. The cantilevers with their treatment are very interesting and the golden texture of the building makes it very unique.

  • Sue Jensen

    Too much diagramisme, too little attention to proportions and materials. Talented bunch of architects, no doubt, but this house never translated from the initial drawings.