The Culture Island, Denmark

The culture island
Photo: Adam Mørk

Name of the Library:The Culture Island
Parent Organisation: Middelfart Municipality, Denmark
Street Address:Havnegade 6-10
Postal Address:DK-5500 Middelfart, Denmark
Telephone :+45 8888 5210
Web Address:www.middelfartbibliotek.dk
Library Email: bibliotek@middelfart.dk

Type of Library Multipurpose building, Small Community Library
Population served:38,000
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres):3,000 sq metres (Library)
Date of Completion:2005
Architect:schmidt hammer lassen architects

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Description

Culture Island 3
Photo: Adam Mørk

The highly sculptural quality of the new Culture Island energises the newly created peninsula extending from Middelfart’s waterfront. The Culture Island is a multi-building accommodating a whole range of the town’s culture facilities under one roof, including a large new library, a cinema, a panorama restaurant, a café, a tourist information office and the town’s new assembly hall.

The Culture Island is situated on an artificial peninsula in the narrow channel between Jutland and the island of Funen. The peninsula is floating above the water on piles deep in the sea bed, and it is surrounded by an exclusive marina. Standing on the harbour seafront of Middelfart it is easy to understand why the town is known as the Town of Bridges. From the Culture Island there is an impressive view of the two bridges that link Jutland with the island of Funen. The view to the west is of a fine bridge built in 1935 that brings railway traffic over the Little Belt, and to the north can be seen an elegant suspension bridge from 1970 over which motorway traffic crosses between the island and the mainland.

Four large glass panels afford views from the cultural centre over the water, and also admit generous levels of daylight into the interior. These glass panels act as large eyes that look out to all four corners of the world. In the evening, these windows glow and fields of light are reflected in the water. The rest of the façade consists of large surfaces covered with zinc, interrupted by small, vertical slits that project beams of light into the building. The zinc casing gives the building a lightweight look and creates an elegant interplay between the sky and the water.

The Culture Island of Middelfart is created from its surroundings. It is a spectacular architectural sculpture inspired by the sea and by the two distinctive bridges that span the Little Belt on each side of the Culture Island. The trapeze-shaped glass panels and curved surfaces suggest associations with ships and sails. With its dynamic sweeping façades, the Culture Island of Middelfart is a finely honed exercise in dramatic architectural form, further enhanced by the continuously changing light characteristic of the area.

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