Copenhagen Library


  • inspiring architecture that creates a sense of place
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Competition entry to AWR international competition





The Spiral Library





Competition (AWR)





Copenhagen, Denmark











The Spiral provides a new library model through the offering of a local landmark that responds to the unique site, delivering a range of spaces, both internal and external, and has its roots firmly within the existing Copenhagen library network. The design looks at different functions that the library can offer and allows the user to find the space they want to engage with, whether inside, outside, virtual or made up as part of their dream. Even though spaces are provided from open / social to intimate / private, the spaces are all connected. It means the library actually doesn’t have an ending. It’s carried through each person, who lives in the surrounding area or has visited the building, through the memories and experiences.

The concept of the building is a series of activity spaces that spiral around the centre of the site.


The building is a continuous space part internal, part external. It begins 4.5m below ground floor level and spirals clockwise around the centre of the site to a height of 14m above ground floor.

The external spaces form the building roof. These are a mixture of hard paving and planting strips towards the building entrance, and a mixture of glazing strips with intensive planting around the rest of the roof.

The internal spaces spiral downwards into the site from the ground floor entrance area. 4 main levels have been created, with the vertical difference between the top (ground floor) and the lowest at 4.5m


The network of libraries is extremely important with the new library representing the 21st member. Each library has been mapped onto the site and is physically represented on the building itself. The new connections that will be made will add to and change the information flow of the area.


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