The Danish Agency for Culture has unveiled a new award for Library architecture as part of its Model Programme for Public Libraries project, a programme in association with Realdania which aims to generate new ideas about how the design of public libraries can change to meet the changing needs of today's society.
The award, which will be announced at the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Lyon, France, is sponsored by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and has a prize of DKK 25,000.
More on the award, and how to enter, after the break
"Libraries are changing from the librarian-run book library into a cultural meeting place and knowledge centre that takes its starting point in the needs and interests of the public and our new digital age. Architecture plays a vital role here," commented the director of the Danish Agency for Culture, Anne Mette Rahbæk.
"As opposed to information found on the internet, the knowledge that arises through collaboration and exchange between people in a library is of particular significance. That is why it is crucial for library architecture to support collaboration and create spaces that invite people to meet," added Morten Schmidt, senior partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.
The Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects – Public Library of the Year Award will be judged based on the following six criteria:
- How it has involved the public and users
- Accessibility and interplay with surroundings
- Flexible functions that are adapted to user desires
- Architectural quality
- Digital communication in the building
- The architecture’s interplay with local culture
Nominations for buildings must be made before midnight on 3 August 2014. Applications may be filled out through the digital form found on the Model Programme’s homepage. To be considered for the award, nominated libraries must be new build or an alteration to a building that was not previously used as a library, and it must have opened between 1 January 2012 and 16 June 2014.