The City of Stockholm has named Caruso St John, working with Swedish practice Scheiwiller Svensson, as the architects for a renovation of Gunnar Asplund's 1928 Stockholm Public Library. The work will see alterations to the interior spaces of the main building and annex, as well as the three additional "bazaars" built to the west of the original building between 1930 and 1953, however there will be no alterations to the external appearance of the building.
Read on for more about the renovation.
The appointment of Caruso St John is the second attempt to modernize the library in a decade. In 2007, after a high-profile international competition which attracted over 1,100 entries, German architect Heike Hanada was selected for a more dramatic extension to the building, but her proposal for a glass tower connected to the main building by a low podium met heavy criticism, both locally and internationally. In 2009, after the election of a new government in Stockholm, the project was put on hold.
This time, instead of an open competition, an invited competition of five offices yielded Caruso St John as a the winner. Long renowned for their work on sensitive restorations of cultural buildings (founder Adam Caruso was a juror in the 2007 competition), Caruso St John recently cemented their reputation with their highly successful renovation of the Tate Britain, which opened last year.
"Our assessment is simply that Caruso St John Architects are most qualified for the task," said Juan Copovi-Mena, Property Director of Stockholm. "They have a recognized expertise in working with cultural and historical buildings and public buildings containing cultural activities."
"We strongly believe in this architect and look forward to quickly get to work, to develop the City Library," adds Inga Lundén of the Stockholm City Library.
Work on the library is planned to begin in 2017, with completion scheduled for 2019.