Cobe’s winning design for the new library of the University of Gothenburg proposes a light, clean volume, whose slightly curved facades are a nod to the pages of an open book. The Danish architecture studio translates the concept of knowledge as the heart of a library into the interior spatial configuration of the project, while the architectural image evokes the idea of a lighthouse. Featuring a transparent and open ground floor, the new repository of knowledge creates a strong connection with the surrounding park, becoming a mediator between the city and the university.
Located in the central area of Gothenburg and neighbouring the city’s most important cultural institutions, the project will house the existing libraries of the Faculties of Humanities, The Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, as well as the University archives, together with its digital services. The core of the building will contain Swede’s first fully automated book repository, which would store and retrieve books in an efficient manner. The vertical circulation wraps around this volume, while offices and study areas are placed along the facades.
With the library’s placement at the top of the hill, we aim to create a distinctive beacon of knowledge. The book serves as the inspiration and point of departure for the design – the building volume, colours, and materials all point to a book being opened. Regardless of which direction you approach it from, you are invited in. The integration of the building and park was a key consideration from the outset, and we have deliberately preserved as much of the existing park landscape as possible. In doing so, we have created an open connection between the city, the university and the library’s users- Dan Stubbergaard, architect and Founder of Cobe.
The library contains areas for focused work and gathering spaces dedicated to exhibitions, meetings, and lectures, with the focus of each space expressed in the choice of materials and finishes. The main gathering spaces of the ground floor features an apparent concrete structure and a granite floor. In contrast, the upper floors are constructed using wood, thus reducing the building’s carbon footprint and providing an acoustically suitable study environment.
The construction is scheduled to begin in 2025, with the project set to open its doors in 2028. The library is the latest in a series of projects designed by the Danish architecture firm in Sweden, which includes the Science Museum in Lund, the new design centre for automaker Geely or the Global Business Gate in Gothenburg.