The ongoing development of the Bjørvika precinct of Oslo calls for the construction of the Deichmanske Library – a new, 27,000 square meter national library adjacent the new Opera House, rail station, and international ferry terminal. As defined by the associated competition, the goal is not to provide Oslo with a traditional library, but to create a library typology which would function and flow within a 21st century city.
Plasma Studio addresses this objective in their design of a library which acts as an extension of the landscape and the harbour front, creating a fluid connection to its surroundings and acknowledging the social forces of the city commons. Their proposal emphasizes ‘permeability and transparency’ in order to blur the distinction between program and between library and city.
But how and why – as society constantly moves forward – must one re-imagine the ‘library’? Information is constantly being stored, imagined, and understood in innumerably expanding real- and ultra-realities. The library must now be conceived not as an information center, but as a cultural and technological node. It is no longer a destination within a city, but a physical and metaphysical extension of the city-social and the cityscape, as well as a direct connection to the extra-city.
The new Deichmanske Library will become part of an extension of the existing city-wide axis of cultural, political, and recreational nodes. This new social node will serve as an important introduction for travelers arriving near the site. Fluid circulation through and between the existing axis, city, library, and waterfront will yield new and unexpected programmatic overlapping and fusion. The artificial may become natural; the library may become city. The landscape of the site will generate a continuity between interior and exterior, connecting visitors to the harbor level and city.
Status: School Project
Location: Oslo, Norway