Stockholm Public Library
Architecture competition proposal, 2007
Tommy Kaj Lindgren and Esa Ruskeepää

The challenge in designing an addition to the iconic library by Gunnar Asplund was a balancing act - the program of the addition was far larger than what the original building accommodated and the site was very prominent and visible, still the old library had to retain its place as the dominant public building in the area.

The solution was twofold: first the new program was arranged on the site in a way that allowed for good public use of the ground level and an accessible entrance to the whole complex, storage and service spaces were placed on a floor that followed the roofline of the old building, and the library levels were situated on top, taking advantage of the natural light on one side with the book stacks and the areas for browsing, and providing a calm view for researchers and scholars towards Observatory Hill with its park on the other side.

Then the volumes were skewed according to the main view-corridors, revealing the old library building from behind the new volume and giving it prominence in the overall composition.

The finished design is a functional whole with a strong character of its own, while giving space and visibility to the old building, framing it.