Woodland Library

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The Woodland Library is organised just like a real tree. It consists of roots (public areas), trunk (vertical communication) and foliage (open media collections and reading places). Just like the roots of a tree are nourished by minerals, the connecting level below ground of the Woodland Library will be nourished by the media depositories and the visitor flow. Just like the trunk of a tree brings the sap upwards, the lifts and the stairs in the Woodland Library will transport visitors and media up into the new volume. Just like the leaves of a tree protect the fruits, the foliage of the Woodland Library will protect the reading places and the media collections. Just like trees produce oxygen and therefore are essential for the body, the Woodland Library is essential for the mind. Children build shelters in the trees for reading while watching the world from above: the Woodland Library will be a shelter for reading while watching the city from above.
Stockholm is famous for its environmental balance between ecology and anthropology and the inhabitants of the capital like being outdoors even if the climate sometimes is harsh. The competition for the new Stockholm City Library represents a unique opportunity for the people to rediscover the green acropolis (Observatory Hill) in the city centre and its forgotten views towards the city, a place which at present is isolated from urban life.
Any single volume (20.000 sqm on two levels) occupying the competition area and fulfilling the requested program would jeopardize the monumentality of Asplund’s masterpiece and the three annexes along Odengatan. It could also kill the relation between the Observatory Hill and the its immediate surroundings.
Apart from the famous library of Asplund, the environment is characterized by the presence of several valuable elements: the Observatory hill, the two annexes of highest architectural quality, the sightlines and the dramatic topography (both natural and artificial). This proposal preserves these elements and increases their value by integrating them into the new library.
The proposal aims at preserving the visual integrity of Asplund’s library and at extending it to encompassing the annexes. This idea that refers to a well known praxis in European architectural history, allows renewing the image of the library still respecting the historical value of the existing buildings.
The proposal aims at creating a network of urban spaces. By lifting and lowering the new volumes, the ground level is cleared and the existing buildings are connected. This forms a system of public squares arranged at several levels which integrates the library with the urban context and the public transport services (buses, Underground, City-Express), assuring pedestrian flows through the library.
The proposal aims at becoming a nature-metaphor by hanging the library on a forest of trunks, by wrapping it with a metallic foliage and by rooting it into the hill with a blooming gangway. This idea rediscovers a fundamental concept of Asplund’s sketches: binding together the library with the garden on the Observatory Hill, both physically and visually.
The extension represents a landscape invention which, with the introduction of a clime-controlled greenhouse and a panoramic telescope volume, creates new surprising views and recoveries the fundamentals of the cultural heritage of Asplund; the synergistic union between tradition/innovation, the true landmark of Stockholm. In the Woodland Library, just as in the Woodland Cemetery, the memory of place becomes place of memory.
Woodland Library
proposta per il concorso per l’ampliamento della biblioteca pubblica di Stoccolma

Stoccolma (Svezia)
Stockholm Stad
progetto architettonico 
HOFLAB (Paolo Belardi, Simone Bori, Matteo Scoccia), HOFPRO (Alessio Burini), Alessio Boco, Valeria Menchetelli, Carl Volckerts
concorso 2007