Deichmanske library, Torshov

A new library that puts local identity on the agenda.


Library, culture






Oslo, Norway

Contact persons:

Mattias Doung


OBOS Eiendom AS


1.150 m²

Collaborating partners:

Aat Vos

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 this context, Obos-blad has written an article about the rehabilitation, titled “The Meeting Place – Libraries Are No Longer Just Shelves of Books.”

It has been important for us as 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 institution to becoming an informal meeting place. The upgrade of Deichman Torshov is an example of this.

Hille Melbye Architects has designed the building’s interior geometry. Glass corridors and large windows that allow natural light to enter 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 in 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 opportunities that do not limit social activities. And most importantly, 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.