in Architecture+Design7 months ago


Exterior view of the Library, as if a ship loaded with knowledge was ready to depart (Vista exterior de la Biblioteca, como si un barco cargado de conocimiento estuviese listo para partir) Image

     A dear friend, the retired professor Juanita Piquero from the Central University of Venezuela, a librarian, gave me a gift that led to this post: she sent me some photographs of her daughter Sofía on a family visit to the Deichman Library in Oslo in 2020; I was so impressed with the architectural beauty of the library that I began to inquire about it. Here is the result of my bibliographic research on one of the iconic places of today's thriving and modern Oslo that I want to share, in particular, with the readers of architecture + design and in general with the friends of the HIVE community.

     In 2009, the city of Oslo opened an international architecture competition to carry out a public library project that would meet the highest standards of the 21st century; Norwegian firms Atelier Oslo and Lund Hagem Architects were the winners to carry out the design of such a great project.

Floor 2 of the Library, Piquero family photo (Piso 2 de la Biblioteca). Foto familia Piquero, 2020

     In 2020, despite the CoVid 19 pandemic, the Deichman Bjørvika Library opened its doors, located between the Opera and the seafront, in the very center of the city, which provides it with a futuristic atmosphere, from a social point of view, cultural and architectural, "with an open architectural design, both vertically and horizontally" according to the group of architects Pau Marín.

The library from inside, photo taken from an upper floor. Piquero family photo (La biblioteca desde adentro, foto tomada desde un piso superior), Foto de la familia Piquero, 2020

     The architectural project is characterized by the construction of a building where new technologies for the rational and efficient use of electrical energy are integrated, with a comprehensive ICT system for digital communication and self-service; In addition, the work develops a new type of space, especially designed for libraries and information services. In total there are six floors that house and conserve about 450,000 books, but, to avoid the rigidity of traditional libraries, it also has a cinema, press room, meeting room, games area, an auditorium with a capacity for 200 people, cafeteria and restaurant. On the first floor, the little ones can enjoy a space specially designed for them, while on the second floor we find recording studios and game rooms, and even a space for the “Future Library” project, an initiative that presents climate-neutral urban areas based on high quality designs.

Facade of the library (Fachada de la biblioteca), Photo © Einar Aslaksen Image

     In total, the library, with all its services and facilities, only covers an area of 13,500 square meters. The journalist Mar Nuevo visited the Deichman library and comforts us by pointing out that libraries are not what they were before, now they are much better, and she continues to tell us, in this particular library you can “Watch movies, make your own podcasts, learn to play the piano, cut and sew a dress, tend a vertical garden, 3D print anything, enjoy the views over the Oslo Fjord, marvel at its architecture and, of course, read or borrow one of its 450,000 books". As if that were not enough, the library has a large terrace from where you can enjoy the city and the fjords that surround it.

Night view of the Oslo Library (Vista nocturna de la biblioteca de Oslo). Image

     Regarding the lighting, the architects designed a kind of staircase that extends through the six floors, with three large skylights placed in the concrete ceiling, with a striking honeycomb design, which give light to the entire room internal structure, producing a panoramic view of the sections of the library. Another genius idea of the designers was to build the façade of the ground floor completely transparent, preserving the sound insulation of the building, while achieving an even distribution of light, thanks to the use of diffused glass that creates a soft and uniform interior light. At night the building lights up and changes its appearance as do the activities and events that take place inside. This entire comprehensive lighting system was developed with input from architects, interior designers, and engineers.

The New Oslo Library, Integrated Architecture, Engineering and Art. Piquero family photo,(La nueva biblioteca de Oslo, arquitectura, ingeniería y arte integradas). Foto de la familia Piquero, 2020

     A phrase by Nils Ole Brandtzaeg, founder of Atelier Oslo, sums up what the architects wanted: "Our goal was to make a library that could offer a variety of different spaces within a large continuous space. We believe that we have managed to build a building that is huge, but at the same time it feels intimate so people can feel like they belong there".

Books are jealously guarded (Los libros son guardados celosamente) Image

     The architects Lund Hagem and Atelier Oslo describe their project in a way that any lay person can understand: “The plot is relatively small. To avoid building too many floors, the building protrudes above its footprint: the first floor over the street to the east, and the fourth floor almost 20 meters above the urban plaza, creating a protective cover for the entrance. This larger cantilever shows the building to the city and preserves the visual of the neighboring Opera. Cantilevered floors are suspended from the upper deck. The roof has a characteristic folded geometry that provides structural strength”.

A very special room, with nature integrated (Una sala muy especial, con la naturaleza integrada). Image

     To close this post, the futuristic vision of the Library managers draws powerfully attention, who have reserved a room for the Scottish artist Katie Paterson's (1981-) project, which is expected to open in about 100 years; each year a writer will contribute an unpublished text that will be kept in a deposit until 2114, at which time the manuscripts will be brought to the public's eye. This is faith in the future of the project and in the future of the Library.

Roof eaves of the Oslo Library (Aleros del techo de la Biblioteca de Oslo). Image

     Consulted bibliography:

Great Reading Hall of the Oslo Library (Gran salón de lectura de la biblioteca de Oslo)Image


Image of the new Deichman library project (Imagen del proyecto de la nueva biblioteca Deichman)

     Una apreciada amiga, la profesora jubilada Juanita Piquero de la Universidad Central de Venezuela, bibliotecóloga, me hizo un regalo que originó este post: me envió unas fotografías de sus hija Sofía en visita que hiciera la familia a la Biblioteca Deichman de Oslo en 2020; quedé tan impresionado con la belleza arquitectónica de la biblioteca que me puse a indagar sobre ella. He aquí el resultado de mi pesquisa bibliográfica sobre uno de los lugares icónicos de la pujante y moderna Oslo actual que quiero compartir, en particular, con los lectores de architecture+design y en general con los amigos de la comunidad HIVE.

The daughter of my friend Juanita Piquero, entering the Deichman Library. Photo of the Piquero family (Sofía, hija de mi amiga Juanita Piquero, entrando a la Biblioteca Deichman),Foto de la familia Piquero, 2020

     En 2009, la ciudad de Oslo abrió un concurso internacional de arquitectura para realizar un proyecto de una biblioteca pública que cumpliera con los estándares más exigentes del siglo XXI; las firmas noruegas Atelier Oslo y Lund Hagem Architects fueron las ganadoras para realizar el diseño de tan magno proyecto.

Floor plan 3 of the Library, Piquero family photo (Plano del piso 3 de la Biblioteca), Foto de la familia Piquero, 2020

Plan of the Oslo library building (Plano del edificio de la biblioteca de Oslo) Image

     En 2020, a pesar de la pandemia CoVid 19, abrió sus puertas la Biblioteca Deichman Bjørvika, ubicada entre la Opera y el paseo marítimo, en el mero centro de la ciudad, lo que le proporciona un ambiente futurista, desde los puntos de vista social, cultural y arquitectónico, “con un diseño arquitectónico abierto, tanto vertical como horizontalmente” a decir del grupo de arquitectos Pau Marín.

The book shelves placed within the reach of users (Las estanterías de libros colocados al alcance de los usuarios), Image

     El proyecto arquitectónico se caracteriza por la construcción de un edificio donde se integran las nuevas tecnologías para el uso racional y eficiente de la energía eléctrica, con un sistema integral de TIC para la comunicación digital y el autoservicio; además, la obra desarrolla un nuevo tipo de espacio, especialmente pensado para bibliotecas y servicios de información. En total son seis pisos que guardan y conservan unos 450.000 libros, pero, para evitar la rigidez de las bibliotecas tradicionales, también cuenta con un cine, sala de prensa, sala de reuniones, zona de juegos, un auditorio con un aforo para 200 personas, cafetería y restaurante. En el primer piso los más pequeños pueden disfrutar un espacio especialmente diseñado para ellos, mientras que en el segundo piso encontramos estudios de grabación y salas de juego, e incluso un espacio para el proyecto “Future Library”, iniciativa que presenta áreas urbanas climáticamente neutrales basadas en diseños de alta calidad.

Skylights on the roof of the Library (Los tragaluces en el techo de la Biblioteca) Image

     En total, la biblioteca, con todos sus servicios y facilidades, solo cubre un área de 13500 metros cuadrados. La periodista Mar Nuevo visitó la biblioteca Deichman y nos reconforta al señalar que las bibliotecas ya no son lo que eran antes, ahora son mucho mejores, y continúa diciéndonos, en esta biblioteca, en particular, pueden “Ver películas, hacer tus propios podcast, aprender a tocar el piano, cortar y coser un vestido, cuidar un jardín vertical, imprimir cualquier cosa en 3D, disfrutar de las vistas sobre el fiordo de Oslo, maravillarte con su arquitectura y, por supuesto, leer o tomar prestado uno de sus 450.000 libros”. Por si fuera poco, la biblioteca tiene una amplia terraza desde donde se puede disfrutar de la ciudad y de los fiordos que la rodean.

View of the fjords from one of the library floors (Vista de los fiordos desde uno de los pisos de la biblioteca) Image

     En lo que atañe a la iluminación, los arquitectos diseñaron una especie de escalera que se extiende a través de los seis pisos, con tres grandes tragaluces colocados en el techo de hormigón, con un llamativo diseño de panal, que dan la luminosidad a toda la estructura interna, produciendo una visión panorámica a las secciones de la biblioteca. Otra idea genial de los diseñadores fue construir la fachada de la planta baja completamente transparente, conservando el aislamiento sonoro del edificio, mientras logra una distribución equitativa de la luz, gracias al uso de vidrios difusos que crean una luz interior suave y uniforme. Por la noche el edificio se enciende y cambia de aspecto al igual que las actividades y acontecimientos que tienen lugar en su interior. Todo este sistema de iluminación integral se desarrolló con el aporte de arquitectos, diseñadores de interiores e ingenieros.

Model of the Skylights of the Oslo Library (Maqueta de los Tragaluces de la Biblioteca Oslo) Image

Diagram of the skylights of the Oslo library (Diagrama de los lucernarios de la biblioteca de Oslo)Image

     Una frase de Nils Ole Brandtzaeg, fundador de Atelier Oslo, resume lo que querían los arquitectos: "Nuestro objetivo era hacer una biblioteca que pudiera ofrecer una variedad de espacios diferentes dentro de un gran espacio continuo. Creemos que hemos logrado construir un edificio que es enorme, pero al mismo tiempo se siente íntimo para que las personas puedan sentir que pertenecen allí."

Meeting room (Sala para reuniones)[Image]

     Los arquitectos Lund Hagem y Atelier Oslo describen su proyecto en forma que cualquier lego lo puede entender: “La parcela es relativamente pequeña. Para evitar construir demasiados pisos, el edificio sobresale por encima de su huella: el primer piso sobre la calle hacia el este, y el cuarto piso casi 20 metros sobre la plaza urbana, creando una cubierta protectora para la entrada. Este voladizo, más grande, muestra el edificio a la ciudad y conserva la visual de la vecina Ópera. Los pisos en voladizo están suspendidos de la cubierta superior. La cubierta tiene una geometría plegada característica que proporciona resistencia estructural”.

Library interiors (Interiores de la Biblioteca), Photo de Gatis Rozenfelds Image

     Para cerrar este post, llama poderosamente la atención la visión futurista de los directivos de la Biblioteca, quienes tienen reservada una sala para el proyecto de la artista escocesa Katie Paterson (1981-), la cual se espera abrir dentro de unos 100 años; cada año un escritor contribuirá con un texto inédito que se cuidará en un depósito hasta 2114, momento en que los manuscritos serán puesto a la mirada del público. Esto es fe en el futuro del proyecto y de la Biblioteca.

Panoramic view of the interior of the Deichman Library in Oslo (Vista panorámica del interior de la Biblioteca Deichman en Oslo) Image

Despite its size, there are always quiet and intimate corners (Pese a su amplitud siempre hay rincones tranquilos e íntimos) Photo by © Einar AslaksenImage

     Bibliografía consultada:

The library at sunset (La biblioteca al atardecer), Photo by © Einar Aslaksen Image


Hola @besamu te saludo con respeto y cariño desde la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Paso por aquí a leer la excelente explicación que nos das de la maravillosa LA BIBLIOTECA DEICHMAN EN OSLO. Verdaderamente bella, funcional y futurista. Arquitectura, diseño e ingeniería de vanguardia. Gracias por mostrarnos tan hermoso lugar de y para las luces y para la vida. Lugar fresco que enaltece el espíritu en busca de lo sublime. Gracias. Recibe un fuerte abrazo lleno de energía positiva y mucha luz.

Hello @besamu I greet you with respect and affection from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. I stop by to read the excellent explanation you give us of the wonderful DEICHMAN LIBRARY IN OSLO. Truly beautiful, functional and futuristic. Avant-garde architecture, design and engineering. Thank you for showing us such a beautiful place of and for the lights and for life. Cool place that exalts the spirit in search of the sublime. Thanks. Receive a big hug full of positive energy and lots of light.

Gracias estimado profesor, no te he contado que inicié mi trabajo en la UCV, los sábados y domingos, en la Biblioteca Central prestando libros en la sala de lectura de Ciencia y tecnología. Allí conocí a mi difunta esposa, quien era bibliotecóloga. Desde entonces mi cariño por las bibliotecas y mi respeto por el personal que allí labora. Gracias por su comentario. buenas tardes.

I still remember my first picture in Oslo Opera way back around 2015.

I have not had the pleasure or the privilege of knowing the Oslo Opera House. I will look for the published photos to surely enjoy it. Thanks. Good night

The façade of the library is quite a marvel. I am not sure what design philosophy is applied but I got a feel of it invoking Biomimetics.

Hola juecoree, muy amable que haya comentado este post. Creo que los arquitectos de esta monumental biblioteca se han inspirado en la filosofía biomimética. Posiblemente, en muchos aspectos este diseño arquitectónico busca soluciones sostenibles en la naturaleza, que como señalan sus seguidores: imitan a la naturaleza, sin pretender replicar puramente sus formas.

Hola juecoree, muy amable que haya comentado este post. Creo que los arquitectos de esta monumental biblioteca se han inspirado en la filosofía biomimética. Posiblemente, en muchos aspectos este diseño arquitectónico busca soluciones sostenibles en la naturaleza, que como señalan sus seguidores: imitan a la naturaleza, sin pretender replicar puramente sus formas.

Hello Juecoree, very kind that you have commented on this post. I believe that the architects of this monumental library have been inspired by the biomimetic philosophy. Possibly, in many aspects this architectural design seeks sustainable solutions in nature, which, as its followers point out: imitate nature, without pretending to purely replicate its forms.

Hello Benjamín. Congrats on the wonderful gift you've received from your generous friend! The photo below of a room within the Deichman Library in Oslo is the one that caught my attention. I'm deeply impressed by the interplay of different geometric shapes that are inspired by natural forms and the spacious interior that harnesses the sun's natural light. I'd definitely feel at home with a library like this because it's conducive to learning and research. What about you @besamu, what aspects of the architecture and design of that building have positively influenced you the most?


Hello Erne, although I am not an architect by profession, I have spent a good part of my life as a professor teaching philosophy courses at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Central University. I will dare to answer your question about what aspects of the architecture and design of that building have influenced me most positively. What impresses me the most is how they have managed to make a closed place looks like a continuation of the city, when entering the building the intensity of the light does not change, although the sound of the environment does. Once inside, the use of skylights that radiate the entire building is something prodigious from the point of view of the use of light. On the other hand, the generous spaces for consulting bibliography, or some of the spaces designed for other purposes, are simply welcoming. Although it is of old date to place books for direct contact with the user, it is still excellent that the idea continues to be in vogue in libraries of this nature. Finally, I am impressed that the library opens for other activities at night, although I could not find out what kind of activities are carried out, I am sure they must be to enrich the human spirit. I hope I have satisfied you with this answer more full of emotion than technicalities.

The technicalities of architecture are not required when confronted by marvelous built environments like the Deichman Library. Unless you're an architect or designer, those scientific data would matter. On the other hand, if we are not involved in this professional practice, our emotional connection to buildings is clearly what binds us together. In fact, this would be much easier for us to relate to because of our shared human nature. Having said that, you've perfectly narrated how you've truly felt while experiencing this remarkable masterpiece. Thank you for sharing your insights!

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Hey @besamu what a beautiful design indeed, glad you researched and showcased the Deichman Library It's truly a piece of art. how wonderful the ceiling and façade is! Totally mesmerised.
Keep sharing such wonderful posts and keep flourishing!

Thank you very much praditya for your words of encouragement. I will certainly continue to do my best to please the wonderful readers of these communities.

I could just spend my entire lockdown over that library, it's truly piece of art, treat to eyes and peaceful to the soul. It fulfils it's purpose as library and more.
Great post, have a wonderful week:)

Thank you very much Sahiba-rana: Yes, I also believe that it is a place where hours must pass without you noticing. Happy week.

Well done @besamu! We're happy to inform you that this publication was specially curated and awarded RUNNER-UP in Architecture Brew #28. Congratulations!


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