The Helsingborg City Library building, even before its completion in 1965, ignited a heated debate due to its location within Stadsparken, the city's cherished park. Many felt it disrupted the park's landscape excessively, tarnishing something deeply beloved. However, over time, the library has garnered recognition and celebration for its gentle integration with the landscape, evolving into a significant cultural landmark and community hub in Helsingborg. The building's initial purpose was to provide a library accessible to all citizens, transcending age and interests.
Expanding on these original ideas, the transformation and extension of the Helsingborg City Library aspire to elevate it into a cultural beacon, aiming to provide spaces where cultural exchange, creativity, and dialogue can flourish both now and in the future. The design draws inspiration from the site's unique spatial, material, and immaterial qualities, nestled within the Stadsparken. While the original library sits atop the park, the new extension gracefully melds with the sloping terrain, minimizing its impact on the park's landscape.
The design emphasizes cohesion between the existing and the new. The interaction between the park and the buildings permeates the design, with large windows framing picturesque views, inviting the park inside, and showcasing the library's diverse programs as living canvases for passersby. At the heart of the new library, the "Hub" rises, connecting functions, activities, and people. In preserving and transforming existing structures, like the 1965 original and the 1994 orangery add-on, the library will offer a recognizable yet modern setting that enhances inherent qualities and adds new ones to the site.
As vital places for cultural exchange and collective memory, libraries represent the cultural heritage of the future. Helsingborg City Library champions sustainability for future generations. It embraces diversity by offering a library landscape with varying spatial qualities, catering to diverse activities and fostering creativity. It's a place for solitude and community, joy and contemplation, interaction and introspection.