Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Adam Mørk; courtesy the architects
Dokk1 represents a new generation of modern, hybrid libraries and is the largest public library of its kind in the Nordic countries...
Opened to the public on Saturday, June 20, 2015, 30,000 sq. m. Dokk1 is part of the Urban Mediaspace project, which is transforming the harbour front of Aarhus in Denmark.
schmidt hammer lassen architects won the new Urban Mediaspace project through an international competition in 2009 and have designed the library, strategically positioning the polygonal building at the mouth of the Aarhus River, connecting the city with the port and water.
Flanked by forests to the north and south, a recreational belt has been created through which a new light railway will run with a dedicated station at Dokk1. Road traffic will be redirected, so that it has direct access to the large underground car park beneath the building. New cycle paths run through the scheme that includes over 450 bicycle parking spaces. Dokk1 will become a new hub and metaphorically the "hinge" that opens up to new experiences in Aarhus city.
Dokk1 is designed as a polygonal slice that hovers above a glazed building resting on a podium with large sculptural stairs that fan out to street level and the new harbour promenade surrounding the building. The glass building is designed as an open urban space with 360-degree views of the water, harbour, forest and city. The building has no clear front or back, which is emphasized by the multi-edged top slice that creates the impression of rotation and movement. The facade is made of expanded metal, and the scale of the city and harbour is reflected in the design, which twists, breaks and turns. The concept of the façade design is an interaction with the height of the surrounding buildings and the scale of the port with reference to large elements, such as cranes and ships.
The two open levels of the library are connected by a media ramp, which consists of five platforms, each dedicated to an activity: exhibitions, gaming, interactive workshops, reading and events. Combined with the literature and media sections, the media ramp offers a meandering path of activity through the building leading up to the children’s area on the top floor. The building meets the requirements of the Danish 2015 energy classification and has 3,000 sq. m. of solar cells on its roof.
"Inside, the open layout creates visual connections between the various functions, and invites the visitors to be inspired by the vast amount of information that inevitably meets them. Openness encourages social interaction and the exchange of information. Dokk1 will become a vibrant space for people of all generations, interests and cultures - a meeting point that will change people’s perception of the entire city”. Our concept, with interweaving activities and functions, supports this synergy," concludes Kim Holst Jensen, Senior Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.