The city of Tingbjerg was envisioned as a modernistic suburban garden city, designed with the best intentions of providing high-quality housing and beautiful greenery. It represented a fresh start for many families during the 1950s and 60s, when large groups of people began to own cars and leave the polluted post-war city center. Unfortunately, today, the neighborhood ranks on the Danish government’s official list of marginalized crime-ridden areas and is stigmatized by negative media coverage. The Tingbjerg Library is part of an ambitious strategy to revive the area and restore a sense of pride. A local community center and an iconic learning and knowledge center offer a place for the residents to meet across cultural barriers. With the open frame as an architectural reference, the library is designed to project the activity of the building and the lives of the residents of Tingbjerg onto the surrounding area as a large display.

In an area that is generally characterized by closed façades and a general sense of introversion, everyday life and the many opportunities provided by the library are put on display to the outside world. A large, open façade toward the street ensures full-scale exposure to the surrounding neighbourhood.

The Tingbjerg Library is an extension to the existing school and consists of two main functions: A library and a cultural center. With its location in the center of Tingbjerg, the library creates a new common meeting place that draws people into the area.

The architecture and choice of materials respect the historic surroundings designed by architect and professor Steen Eiler Rasmussen during the 1950s. Using the same basic materials found in the area, such as yellow brick cladding, but in a new way, the building maintains a clear link to Tingbjerg’s unique original character.

A typical Danish design item hanging in many people’s living rooms is the typesetter drawer, used as a set of tiny shelves for displaying favourite personal items. Tingbjerg Library uses the same principle to showcase activity and social life at the library to the surrounding community.

The building’s users can engage in a myriad of activities and events within multifunctional rooms, including classes, workshops, lectures and musical performance. All activities are visible from within the building and animate the glass façade to the exterior surroundings.

Shifting floor plates, niches and balconies on the four levels of the library create the impression of a small mountain village clinging to the hillside.

The interior is clad in warm plywood and wooden slats, creating an optimal acoustic indoor climate. The design offers a tactile, soft and intimate environment as a contrast to the often hard atmosphere of the surrounding neighbourhood.

The plywood slats engage in dialogue with the exterior brick baguettes.

source: Office web