Pestalozzi-Bibliothek Unterstrass, inside 2

Name of the Library:

Street Address: Scheuchzerstrasse 184, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
Postal Address: same as above
Telephone : +41 44 362 15 02
Web Address http://www.pbz.ch
Library Email: info@pbz.ch

Type of Library: (District Library Multipurpose building
Population served: 30 000
Project Type: Extension, Refurbishment
Size (square metres): 337.6 m2
Date of Completion: 2013
Architect: Team 4 Architects, Zürich, Switzerland

Pestalozzi-Bibliothek Unterstrass, inside 3

Extension and renovation of the local library branch in Zurich-Unterstrass
The large window offers you an insight into the library before you have even stepped in. The display though is not books, but the readers sitting immersed in a novel or a comic book in the window aisles. Those are taken over by kids and young people in the afternoon, when they are off school. While the toddlers are found with their noses buried in a picture book on the large bright sofa sculpture, the young seem to prefer the 28 meters long settee in the sheltered seating area: Seeing and being seen is just as important as the object of lecture itself. As for the adults, they enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in the reading bistro and the lounge with the large selection of magazines or do simply have a chat with old friends.

Back in 1933, the premises were set up as a reading room of the then so called Pestalozzi-Society. At the time, it was considered luxury to have somewhere warm to sit and read. The bleak information desk and the wooden chairs were the very embodiment of reading culture. While in the digital age we find this changed, the PBZ libraries remain an institution that is continuously trying to meet specific needs of local library users in the best possible way. Thus, children can easily visit the library and check out items on their own. The easy wheelchair access is estimated by those with disabilities and the friendly staff will help anybody who seeks their assistance. The rooms with their now modern and vivid colours can barely be recognised from before and regular customers are stunned. In order to gain more space, an old utility room has been converted into an original lounge. Pillars have been integrated in the concept in a congenial way. Some areas have been decorated with a specific item of furniture without making any concessions to the modern expectations in matters of design.

Pestalozzi-Bibliothek Unterstrass, inside

The many custom-built interior items were well worth the effort. The number of visitors has more than doubled since the library has been reopened. The once quiet afternoons of the parish community building are done and over with. Whoever has just finished their lesson at the musical school next door can go by the library for a quick browse. Mothers whose kids are at playschool are taking some refreshment in the reading bistro, children are running down the aisle in order to fling themselves unto the big red sofa at the end of it. And those who are in a hurry and do not have time for any of that can cast a lingering eye through the window glass -with the good intentions of having more time on their hands when they return.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s