open-air library by KARO* architekten

Leave a comment
architecture / landscape architecture

open-air library by KARO* architekten_1 [image © Anja Schlamann ]

the “open air library”, a  2010 joint winner of The European Prize for Urban Public Space (see notes at the end of post) is designed by leipzig-based architecture firm KARO* with Architektur+Netzwerk. a outcome of highly participated from neighborhood residents, successfully transformed a vacant intersected lot to a social meeting friendly place.

this was how it looked like before:

open-air library by KARO* architekten_2in 2005, some 20,000 books were collected and a 1:1 scale model of the design that the residents liked the best was constructed, with over a thousand beer crates on exact location.

that’s right, beer and books can coexist :)

this temporary construction was the venue for a small two-day reading and poetry festival. looks fun isn’t it!

open-air library by KARO* architekten_3since 2006, the project is part of a research project by the federal government and was funded as a pilot project for realization.

the open air library was officially opened in 2009 june.

open-air library by KARO* architekten_plan

open-air library by KARO* architekten_elevation[images courtesy karo architekten ]

+ the library is open to the public 24 hours a day and managed by the residents themselves without any registration needed, anyone can freely borrow and return books.

open-air library by KARO* architekten_5

open-air library by KARO* architekten_7
[image © Anja Schlamann ]

+ architects reuse those prefabricated tiles from a now-gone emblematic 1966 HORTEN warehouse in the city of hamm.

open-air library by KARO* architekten_6

+ the iconic tiles give the building facade a retro-futuristic look, as a outcome of sustainability and a public participation.

open-air library by KARO* architekten_8[image © Anja Schlamann ]

+ the presence of the library and flexible public space absolutely bring positive social opportunities to residents, also demonstrate a innovative process to make public rethink how can we best refabricate our existing urban setting, with minimal environmental impact.

open-air library by KARO* architekten_9

open-air library by KARO* architekten_10

open-air library by KARO* architekten_11

open-air library by KARO* architekten_12[images © Anja Schlamann ]

+ about the award

The European Prize for Urban Public Space is a biennial competition organized by six European institutions with the aim to recognize and encourage the recovery projects and defense of public space in our cities. The award, created in 2000, celebrates its sixth edition in 2010.
check out for more project information ( from initiative to funding, to the construction management ).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s