Category Archives: Denmark

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
Library Email:

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


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.


Dokk1, Aarhus, Denmark

Dokk1 2
Photo: Adam Mørk

Name of the Library:Dokk1
Parent Organisation: Aarhus Municipality
Street Address:Hack Kampmanns Plads 2
Postal Address: 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Telephone :+ 45 89 40 92 00
Web Address:

Type of Library : Central/ Main  Library
Population served: Scandinavia’s  largest public library
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres):35,600
Date of Completion: 2015
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Dokk1 opened its doors to the public on Saturday, 20 June, becoming the largest public library in the Nordic countries, representing a new generation of modern, hybrid libraries. The 30,000 square metre building is part of the Urban Mediaspace project, which is transforming the harbour front of Aarhus. The project houses the new library, a citizen service centre, automatic parking for 1,000 cars and new harbour-side public squares. With a budget of over € 280 million, it is the largest construction project by the Municipality of Aarhus in the city’s history.

In 2009, schmidt hammer lassen architects won the competition to design the new Urban Mediaspace project as lead architect in collaboration with Kristine Jensens Landscaping and engineering company Alectia.

The large polygonal building is located at the mouth of the Aarhus River, connecting the city with the port and water. Flanked by forests to the north and south, a recreational belt has been created through which a new light railway will run with a dedicated station at Dokk1. Road traffic will be redirected, so that it has direct access to the large under-ground car park beneath the building. New cycle paths run through the scheme that includes over 450 bicycle parking spaces. Dokk1 will become a new hub and metaphorically the “hinge” that opens up to new experiences in Aarhus city.

A covered urban space
The principal idea behind Dokk1 is a transparent covered urban space. Kim Holst Jensen, Senior Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects, explains: “Dokk1 is not simply a building. It is a place for exchanging knowledge and opportunities and a multicultural meeting point that will change people’s perception of the entire city. Dokk1 enhances this special setting with an architecture that creates an exceptional visual connection to the city – both from inside the building and out. Through this, we form an icon for the knowledge society, an icon that supports and stimulates creative collaboration.”

Dokk1 is designed as a polygonal slice that hovers above a glazed building resting on a podium with large sculptural stairs. The stairs fan out to street level and the new harbour promenade surrounding the building. The glass building is designed as an open urban space with 360-degree views of the water, harbour, forest and city. The building has no clear front or back, which is emphasised by the multi-edged top slice that creates the impression of rotation and movement. The facade is made of expanded metal, the scale of the city and harbour is reflected in the design, which twists, breaks and turns. The concept of the façade design is an interaction with the height of the surrounding buildings and the scale of the port with reference to large elements, such as cranes and ships.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Democratic, open and diverse
The polygonal top floor contains the municipal administration offices along with rental offices. The two open levels of the library are connected by the media ramp, which consists of five platforms, each dedicated to an activity: exhibitions, gaming, interactive workshops, reading and events. Combined with the literature and media sections, the media ramp offers a meandering path of activity through the building leading up to the children’s area on the top floor.

“Inside, the open layout creates visual connections between the various functions, and invites the visitor to be inspired by the vast amount of information that inevitably meets them. Openness encourages social interaction and the exchange of information. Dokk1 will become a vibrant space for people of all generations, interests and cultures. Our concept, with interweaving activities and functions, supports this synergy,” concludes Kim Holst Jensen, Senior Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.

The development of Dokk1 has in many ways influenced how schmidt hammer lassen designs libraries around the world. One example is in the handling of the public consultation, from which we have learnt large amounts. For Dokk1, this process directly influenced the size of the multi-hall and the design of information in the reception area.


The Culture Yard Library, Elsinore, Denmark

Exterior View of the Culture Yard
Exterior View of the Culture Yard

Name of the Library The Culture Yard Library
Parent Organisation: Elsinore  Municipal Libraries

Street Address: Allegade 2
Postal Address:  DK-3000 Helsingør, Denmark
Telephone :  +45 49 28 36 20
Web Address http://www.helsbib.dkLibrary Email

Type of Library:  Central/ Main Library
Population served: 61,500
Project Type New Building
Size (square metres): 6000 (the library), 13000 (the Culture Yard total)
Date of Completion 10.10.2010
Architect Aart, Aarhus, Denmark

Reading Area
Reading Area

The culture yard – Centre for knowledge, creativity and new experiences, is part of a large cultural area in North Zealand. With The Sound as a backdrop, Kronborg Castle in plain sight, beside M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark and the old city of Elsinore, The Culture Yard is a cultural centre brimming with life and activities. It’s a place packed with history – both in its status as a modern culture house built on a traditional shipyard, and also quite literally, inside its large, extensive library. Besides The Library The Culture Yard holds two auditoriums, conference and exhibition facilities, The Shipyard Museum and a restaurant.

In the architecture the past meets the present. From the outside, the sail-inspired façade made of glass, steel and climate screens creates an impression both modern and sculptural.

Inside, a historical core has been preserved in the old shipyard buildings. Old and new melt together into an architectural composite of raw concrete walls and oak floors, open ceiling beans and striking window setting. The balconies facing the harbor, the terrace with a view of Kronborg Castle, and the reading nooks set out towards the sea, all inspire nature reflection and calm, making any visit here an experience. The building was designed by Aart architects, and is in itself worthy of a visit.

Children's Library
Children’s Library

In the heart of The Culture Yard is the library, a modern multimedia centre, designed around the concept of urban spaces. Books and other media are located in different districts. The intersections between districts serve as meeting, assembling and exhibition spaces, and provide a setting for everything from author appearances and poetry evenings to film and book club events.
The Children’s Library is an open landscape of worlds where you can set out on adventures of creative expression. In The Bay a lighthouse is showing the way where one might meet The Panzer Cod with its portholes and periscopes…, and in The Cave there’s the opportunity to play and perform. On the rock one can overview it all.
Activities and activity spaces can be found on the different floors – with computer rooms, study facilities and game rooms, as well as corners for reading and relaxing.

A yardful of knowledge – adventures all the way, is what the library gives. Whether one likes to discover historical archives or create stories by oneself, the library makes it all possible. From creative workshops to genealogy experts and local historians enhancing experiences all around. On the first floor there are play-spaces, workshops and game rooms for the young ones.
The second floor is fiction, music, film and games for all ages and a large area for self-performance; and the top floor houses non-fiction, newspapers and periodicals with the best view for Kronborg Castle and the harbor.

At the harbor the sculpture HAN, from internationally recognizes art duo Elmgreen & Dragset, makes references to both Elsinore’s past and to HAN’s famous big sister at Langelinie in Copenhagen.

Awards, case studies, further information
Aarts Architects / The Culture Yard have received a number of awards:
• 2011 Tyndpladeprisen
• 2011 Structural Award
• 2013 The International Hotel & Property Award
In 2013 The Culture Yard was used as a motif for two stamps


Hjoerring Public Library, Denmark

Hjoerring welcome_ifla

Name of the Library: Hjoerring Public Library
Parent Organisation: Hjoerring Libraries

Street Address: Oestergade 30
Postal Address:  9800 Hjoerring , Denmark
Telephone :+4572334800
Web Address:
Library email:

Type of Library:  Central/ Main Library   District Library  Headquarters  Joint use Medium size town library
Population served: The main library with branches: 68.000
Project Type New Building
Size (square metres): 5000 m2
Date of Completion: April 2008
Architect: Scmidt, Hammer & Lassen
Library fittings: BCI, now Lammhults Library Design.
Design and special equipment: Bosch & Fjord

Hjoerring chesterfield_ifla

Consider such things as  external and internal design and features, location, partnerships, environmental sustainability, innovation, accessibility, programs and services
Hjoerring Library has a vivid and organic design created by the Danish artist duo Bosch & Fjord. A read thread/band combines the different parts of the library and lead you to different experiences. Sometimes it is a shelf, a table, a seat or just decoration. The library is designed to encourage playfulness, learning, surprises and most of all a place to be.

The library is designed with inspiration from the ideas about libraries as The Third Places and The Great Good Places by Ray Oldenburg. Also the Danish architect Jan Gehl and his thoughts about city planning and making cities for people had a great impact.
Hjoerring Library is placed in a shopping mall and also have a cooperation with the mall in different ways. The library also includes a Tourist Service.

Please come and visit us – we love guests

Children's section
Children’s section

Awards, case studies, further information (In Danish, but see a lot of lovely photos and videos. Look for: Billedgalleri and Videogalleri.

Click to access Board-Report-Attachment4-Sept-16-2013.pdf


Odense Music Library, Denmark

Name of the Library: Odense Music Library
Parent Organisation: Odense Central Library
Address and Contact Details
Street Address: Østre Stationsvej 33
Postal Address: 5000  Odense C
Telephone :  + 45 65514444
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library:  Central/ Main Library  , Special Library
Population served: 195.000
Project Type:  New Building
Size (square metres): 1200 m2
Date of Completion building 1914 – library summer 2013
Architect Heinrich Wenck

The building is the old central station in Odense from 1914 – and in 2013 Odense Music Library moved into the historical landmark building. The “wow” factor is big when you walk through the door and sees the fantastic interior – and it is really old meets modern. Odense Music Library is the biggest public library music collection in the Nordic countries – and must be one of the biggest worldwide. Both the physical collection and the digital music collection are vast.
At the same time the music library constantly pushes the borders for how to promote music to Odense’s patrons – It has its own music studio for the (semi) professionals, and an instrumental zone with drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and a lot other instruments you can just play – including sheet music writing software. All sponsored by Roland and 4Sound.

The music Library is a hub for all musical life in Odense – and works together with all relevant music institutions and persons, including the symphony orchestra, the music school, venues and commercial music stores. At the same the Music library has exhibitions and  concerts from advanced small niche genres to local bands first concert in public. Many events are arranged by the patrons themselves.

Check it out in the virtual 3D visit on – (NB the instrumental zone on the top floor was not finished yet)