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PROJECT REPORT: EDUCATION & RESEARCH FACILITIES


45


clearly displays its internal functions. Some of the glazing has been retained and restored, with plentiful daylighting provided by the large skylights spread across the former train shed’s roof.


The rest of the structure is largely steel, much of which was existing, the additions blending with the local material palette of the industrial area. Ingrid van der Heijden says the restoration was integral to the design process, but it was ‘light touch’ where the original structure was concerned: “One of our goals was to touch the original building as little as possible – for that reason, we made sure that the new parts rarely touch the old.”


There has been some refurbishment to the exterior to bring it up to date, and the remaining 50 per cent of roof space around the skylights is covered with solar panels. The electricity produced surpasses the project’s needs, and the extra capacity goes to neighbouring buildings for their own use. At night, the building’s internal LEDs turn the library into what the architect describes as an “inviting beacon in the city centre.”


An indoor public square Stepping inside, the structure’s grand scale has been fully exploited. Instead of following the path of many large scale projects, splitting the space up into separate modules – usually for heating efficiency — here visitors are presented with expansive views right up to the skylights, diagonally across the building past the many programmes within the library, and back out through the wide-set glazing of the building’s facades.


ADF JULY 2019


“The first time we entered the building, we fell in love with the spatial effect of the hall, and the way that when moving around it you are really part of the atmosphere – so we tried to keep it this way,” Ingrid says. She adds: “We immediately decided we wanted to have an open design, which was not like the initial plan the municipality presented to us.”


The entrance hall functions as a “public


square,” intended to emulate outdoor shared spaces inside, and provide a welcome and bustling atmosphere for users – with the library’s quieter functions located further from the entrance. As users pass into this hall, they are surrounded by solid materials reminiscent of the building’s original form, with glass and oak complementing the rigid black steel and concrete. This material palette was chosen by the architects as part of the recurring theme of “honesty,” which determined the building’s architectural language.


Past a coffee kiosk is a large exhibition


area. Continuing the references to the building’s former use, here are placed three large tables made from a train’s undercarriage, standing on the original tracks. These can either be used as work or resting spaces, or pushed together to create a stage or a catwalk.


Several staircases lead up through the open space to the upper two levels. This “landscape of stairs,” as Ingrid puts it, doubles up as seating for the 1,000 plus event space and overlooks the three podia, lit warmly with plentiful LEDs in order to invoke an air of the theatre.


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The entrance hall functions as a ‘public square’ intended to emulate outdoor shared spaces inside


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