New Library and Citizen Service




The site for the new library in located at the interface between inner city and the looser urban fabric of the city of Jena. The prestigious, historic cubature of the surrounding buildings allows room for an unexpected intervention within the block with the aim of repairing the city from within. United under one roof inspired by the geometry of existing structures, two different city institutions establish a new hybrid open built structure.

The large roof is folded to resemble the small scale buildings of the context. The linear gable-like roof and overhangs synergistically unite and define the new library and the citizen center. This strategy transforms the existing courtyard into a public and attractive space that instantly becomes part of the existing urban fabric and offers generous open spaces to the public.  The ground floor is seen as the continuation of the public space within the building and houses the foyers of both institutions. On the top floors the library, the reading and work areas are oriented to provide views within the building and to the outside.  With the paradigm change of libraries, which have become a third place, the library as an organization and organism must be able to moderate a considerable number of content and organizational innovations, while revolutionize their functioning.

The building becomes thus extroverted and merges best with the public realm of the city.  The building offers a stepped, extroverted interior with an atrium that is oriented towards the Kulturarena. The new façade is heavily glazed to maximize the light input into the building but also to establish visual relationships with its surroundings.