helen & hard: vennesla library and cultural center helen & hard: vennesla library and cultural center
feb 16, 2012

helen & hard: vennesla library and cultural center

norwegian practice helen & hard (siv helene stangeland, reinhard kropf) has shared with us images of ‘vennesla library and cultural center’, a multi-level public facility in vennesla, norway. serving as a spatial connector between an existing community house, learning center, and a public square, the design is a direct result of the synergetic coupling of structures, manifesting as a series of gradually shifting ribs that provide structure in addition to furniture and storage for technical devices.


image © emile ashley (also main image) / all images courtesy helen & hard

 

 

focusing on creating an inviting public domain, the library brings the city life into and through the building. a large glass facade serves as an open interface between the interior and the city’s main square, while an urban loggia provides sheltered outdoor seating for visitors. in order to reduce the energy needs of all three buildings, two long facades of the existing structures were used to minimize on total surface of the exterior walls. all new walls, floors and roof have been equipped with high-standard energy solutions.


image © emile ashley

 

 

accommodating for specific functional demands of the library’s different departments, the interior’s circulation and layout is defined by twenty-six structural ribs. each building component consists of a glue-laminated timber beam and column, CNC-routered plywood boards, acoustic absorbents, air conditioning ducts, and bent glass panes for lighting. intimate reading niches are generated between members, with shelving and storage built in to their structure. a direct result of the undulating ribs, the geometries of the roof exhibit sharp angles and corners, contrasting with the organic aesthetic of the interior. vertically-running slats control the level of daylight intake while maintaining visibility.

image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley


image © emile ashley

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  • Glorious, a sanctuary for reading!

    Mary T says:
  • Nice to see some curves again! Very nice, although it could have been good to cleverly use some space higher up in the void, while somehow not detracting from that amazing sweeping view along the length of the space. The rib-like quality is intriguing and good to see, as a fan of bio-mimicry. Sort of reminds me of Calatrava.

    EA says:
  • I don\’t think the dead-end stack arrangement is good, from a user\’s point of view. I admire the perseverance of the architects with going through with their formal idea but perhaps it wasn\’t such a great idea after all.

    Julius says:
  • Nice work!

    mash says:
  • Loved the Design . . . .

    shanz says:
  • almost perfect !!!!

    sparola says:
  • this building will drive the last people out of libraries.

    michael snoek says:
  • excelente integración de la estructura en todo el diseño, me encanto!!

    Gabby says:
  • 😀

    jTr says:
  • Very nice and expensive library for the few books to be used?!

    Sami says:
  • how a wonderful place!

    janice says:
  • Kudos !!!
    It is a building I would like to visit
    a building that would spark curiosity in me.
    thank you

    Paedra says:

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