Integrating twelve branch libraries and departmental libraries from the areas of the humanities, cultural, social and economic sciences, gave birth to Germany’s largest open-access library, the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Centre. In order to highlight the significance of the library in terms of urban construction, a part of the building exceeds the usual standard height for eaves in Berlin. This section of the building, which towers 40 meters above the ground, has its place in the silhouette of the urban cultural landscape of the nearby Museum Island. The texture of Berlin’s Dorotheenstadt quarter is opened in the vicinity to accommodate a small city square that runs alongside the city train viaduct. The discussion about whether one central reading room or several separate rooms should be built was resolved by deciding in favour of both. All 2.5 million media units can be reached from the stepped reading room, thus creating a central room which also enables one to work in a decentralised manner. In the spirit of Humboldt, the library brings together fields of knowledge and, at the same time, animates the reader to venture beyond the boundaries of these fields in the truest sense of the word.

source: Max Dudler