Växjö City Library

Växjö/ Sweden

Size/ 3,850 m² new build/ 3,100 m² conversion
Cost/ € 9.8 million excl. VAT
Competition/ 2000, 1st prize in restricted international competition
Status/ Construction period 2001 – 2003
Client/ Växjö Municipality
Landscape Architect/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Engineer/ Moe & Brødsgaard A/S
Interior design/ shldesign
Awards/ 2004, Växjö Kommunes Arkitekturpris/ 2004, Nominated for the Kaspar Salin Prize/ 2005, Kronoberg Län’s Arkitekturpris

Växjö City Library sits in the cultural centre of the city and comprises a new build extension and a sensitive refurbishment of architect Erik Uluot’s building from 1965. With a base of light-toned natural stone terminated at the top by an unbroken band of glass, the new building appears as a simple, balanced juxtaposition of stone and glass. Visual weight below and an apparent lightness above – exactly like its sister building but with the order reversed. The interconnecting building sensitively mediates contact between the circular building and its quadratic counterpart.

The extension is an independent circular volume that matches up with the existing square library.

The circular atrium is the new building’s unifying element. Extending up through the library’s three storeys, long flights of straight-run stairs present a linear contrast to the geometry of the circle.

Between the atrium and the building’s façade are the library’s many functions located, positioned as freestanding furniture pieces on the light-toned wooden floors at each level.

related projects/