ARCHITECTURE: Heidenheim Library
Competition 2nd Place
Client Municipality of Heidenheim an der Brenz
Location Heidenheim, Germany
The fusion of the city’s library and media center in one new facility embodies the spirit of the information age by bringing together the range of contemporary media under one roof. It recasts the library not as a place where knowledge is simply stored, but primarily as a place of discovery and communication.
Through its compact and efficient form placed at the north end of the site, the design energizes the urban character of the bustling Brenzstrasse to the north. Simultaneously this location opens the opportunity to create a new park to the south, connecting to the greenery around the Paulus church and extending a green axis all the way to the train station and Georges-Levillain Square.
The library’s interior orients itself around a dramatic and light-filled stair that connects all the levels. Serving as a means of circulation, informal sitting opportunity and integral part of the building’s structural system, the stair forms both the literal and figurative heart of the building.
For an optimal lighting of the interior, the design’s exterior is wrapped in a woven aluminum skin. This creates diffused lighting and sun shading as well as giving the building a monumental presence. The design’s undulating façade allows for the creation of outdoor terraces spread throughout the different floors and enhances its sculptural character. This woven design was inspired by Heidenheim’s historical ties to the weaving industry as well as its current production of high-tech paper productions using complex folding techniques.