Halmstad Library, Sweden

Halmstead 2
Photographer: Adam Mørk

Name of the Library: Halmstad Library
Parent Organisation: Halmstad Municipality
Street Address: Axel Olsons gata 1
Postal Address:300 04 Halmstad, Sweden
Telephone :+46 035-13 71 81
Web Address:bibliotek.halmstad.se
Library Email:stadsbiblioteket@halmstad.se

Type of Library :Medium size town library
Population served:95,000 (625,500 visitors per year)
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres):8,000 sqm
Date of Completion:2006
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects

Photographer: Adam Mørk
Photographer: Adam Mørk


Halmstad Library is set within a park next to the Nissan River, overlooking the historic centre of Halmstad. With its atrium encircling a large existing chestnut tree becoming its fulcrum and the long concave facade with double-height glazing distended between the seemingly floating floor-plates, nature, the seasons and the city all become part of the library.

Inside, the library is essentially a single open space, flexible and highly legible: an open structure which allows an active interplay between the columns and the trees outside. The double-height glazing of the concave façade creates a welcoming, transparent ambience. The atrium is the focal point that creates an instant overview and connects the library’s three floors vertically.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Surrounding the atrium is the information plaza: a dynamic zone containing the reception area, computer terminals, exhibitions, a café, and stairs to the balcony and the stacks in the basement. Around this zone looking out in the direction of the façade and the views, the various sections unfurl, breathing their own tranquil atmosphere, affording users space to ponder or be drawn in.

The library is extended across the wide expanse of the Nissan River like a bridge linking the historic part of town and the new urban development area, formerly divided by the river for hundreds of years. A square in front of the library creates a new urban space which can host a range of civic activities.

The library is constructed of few and simple materials: concrete, glass and Nordic larch flooring that interact effectually with the exterior surroundings. The Library is raised above street level on a forest of columns echoing the trees surrounding the building. The grass roof of the building is a sustainable solution, reducing UV penetration and the need for drainage, as well as providing additional insulation

2006, Nominated for the Kasper Salin Award
2006, The Architecture Prize of the Municipality of Halmstad 2007, Awarded the Helgjutet-prize from Swedish Concrete Industry


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