A New Library Putting Local Identity in Focus

Deichman Torshov

In collaboration with Dutch interior architects Aat Vos, Hille Melbye Architects has been involved in a major upgrade of one of Oslo’s most central libraries, Deichman Torshov at Sandaker center. In connection with this, the Obos magazine has written an article about the rehabilitation, titled “The Meeting Place – Libraries Are No Longer Just Bookshelves.”

It has been important for us architects to create good conditions for value creation in public meeting places. In recent decades, cultural and social changes have redefined the role of the library from being a lending place to becoming an informal meeting place. The upgrade of Deichman Torshov has been an example of this.

Hille Melbye Architects has designed the building’s internal geometry. Glass corridors and large windows that let in natural light have resulted in the library becoming more open and bright. Where there is low ceiling height, it has now been warmly illuminated with green plants on the ceiling. And in the children’s section, there are drawing tables and a shoe-free zone. In the summer, the new staircase will be used, as it will lead users up to a brand new rooftop garden.

The new library at Sandaker center represents an open architecture, where easy accessibility contributes to spatial possibilities that do not limit social activities. And above all, it is an inclusive place for everyone, regardless of age, lifestyle, income, and cultural and ethnic background. We are proud of this project and thank Aat Vos interior architects for their collaboration.