Lundhagem and Atelier Oslo present the revolutionary Deichman Bjørvika Library in Oslo, Norway. Originally slated to open in March 2020, the library features six floors of reading with a cinema and auditorium in the basement. The library is situated next to an opera house on the scenic Oslo waterfront, and although the land itself is small, the building makes up for it with a cantilever structure, its upper stories jutting out above the water.
450,000 books make their home in this new library. The library receives its name from Carl Deichman, who started the library’s collections by donating the first books back in 1785. The library is expertly crafted with the height of entertainment in mind; each floor is broken into smaller sections so that the library itself feels secular and neat despite its overwhelming height. Atelier Oslo says of the building’s interior design, “Even though the books still have a strong presence, this library is designed first and foremost as a place for people.”
The books are organized starting with the children’s section, gaming rooms, and mini theatres on the lower floors, rising up to science and non-fiction on the higher floors. Everything is set up so the library becomes quieter as visitors take escalators higher and higher up. Study rooms are built with beautifully contrasting white and black minimalistic color schemes and great floor-length panoramic windows designed to let in as much light as possible. On the highest floor, the library boasts the Future Art Project, a collection of writings started in 2014. Each year, one selected author will publish a piece of writing to be displayed in the library in 2114.
Deichman Bjørvika Library encourages visitors to explore and make themselves at home with its bright natural lighting and welcoming, open corridors. “The interior opens for exploration like in a forest, where you are constantly invited around the next corner to discover new areas of the library,” says architect Lundhagem. The library itself also features a cafe with a terrace and its own restaurant, Centropa. The invitation is truly felt throughout the building’s interior design, as the children’s reading rooms feature bold splashes of color. Visitors worldwide will find the Deichman Bjørvika Library an easy addition to their traveling bucket list.
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