The National Library of Sweden

Stockholm / Sweden / 2013

19
19 Love 2,504 Visits Published

The main body of the building housing Sweden’s National Library is located in the city
centre of Stockholm, in the park “Humlegården”, and was inaugurated in 1878. A former
1960’s underground stack module was refurbished in 1997 and converted into an area for
public use docked to the rear of the main building - today known as the “Annex”.
Glass roof over the underground area “Annexet” in park “Humlegården”


The Annex was created to provide a public space for the library by converting an
underground book storage building added in 1965. The new facility contained an auditorium,
a microfilm reading room, meeting rooms and a large exhibition space. However, these
public areas proved difficult to use. The exhibition areas, for instance, did not function well
with regard to climate and security issues. The interior design was impractical and the areas
as a result were unoccupied and empty. Elsewhere in the library the seating facilities were
often overflowing with visitors.


Issues for the “Annexet project”
• Few spaces available for users except for quiet reading rooms
• No areas for informal communication and group activites
• Need for areas for Audio Visual Media research services
• Inadequate exhibition areas
• Areas suited for presentation of digital material needed
• A huge volume not (well) used
• Unfriendly and impractical atmosphere
• Lack of study places combined with unused public areas
• Lack of cafeteria available all opening hours


This was our vision
We wanted to create an area with new functions and with a welcoming, pleasant atmosphere
so that this space too could become a well-used, practical space for our visitors.
• New services to our users – including meeting point, areas for work in informal
groups
• Use the unused volume in the Annex
• New user friendly, nice and attractive public areas
• New well functioning facilities for the Audio Visual Media Research Services
• New study places
• New Periodicals Reading Room
• Enhanced functionality in the Microfilm Reading Room
• Enhanced Auditorium Facilities
• New Exhibition Areas
• Catering services all open hours


This is how we did it
The proposal was to retain as much of the main theme from 1997 which allowed for natural
light incoming from the glass roof, enhancing an elegant straight staircase leading to lower
levels. By compartmentalizing this space, the overall volume effect could be improved.
Encircling the open deck observation areas adjacent to the staircase are now new reading
places, backlit by reflecting railings of glass.
• With respect to previous architects and concepts – ( Jan Henriksson 1997- and others)
• Goal - Making it attractive
• Working together – Library and Architects
• Work with daylight and lighting, The project won the Swedish Lighting Award 2014.
• Study visits & sketches,
• Relating to existing artworks.


The result
We created new floor space, new study places, new meeting rooms, additional new seats for
informal meetings, new research study rooms for audio visual material, a new periodicals
reading area with room for 1000 magazine titles and a high-security exhibit area for
presenting valuable materials . The refurbished building has now a user-friendly and pleasant
atmosphere, and has become a modern and useful addition to the main old building.


The new cafeteria is located adjacent the cloakroom and is immediately visible when you
enter the library. It is open during all the library’s opening hours.
The new exhibition areas allows for the Library to have rare and exiting items on display.
Reactions from both users and staff have been very positive – both verbal and shown in user
behaviour. The refurbished area is appreciated as a new and welcome modern addition to the
venerable and impressive main building of the Swedish National Library.

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    The main body of the building housing Sweden’s National Library is located in the citycentre of Stockholm, in the park “Humlegården”, and was inaugurated in 1878. A former1960’s underground stack module was refurbished in 1997 and converted into an area forpublic use docked to the rear of the main building - today known as the “Annex”.Glass roof over the underground area “Annexet” in park “Humlegården” The Annex was...

    Project details
    • Year 2013
    • Work finished in 2013
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Book shops
    Archilovers On Instagram
    Lovers 19 users