OBA | Amsterdam Public Library

Design – realisation: 2001–2007

Design: Public Library Amsterdam

Location: Oosterdokseiland |Amsterdam (NL)

Client: City of Amsterdam

Team: Jo Coenen | Geert Coenen | Will Stokkermans | Iwert Bernakiewicz | Max Bachinov | Gerard Extra | Hans Schoot | Bart Erens | Frans Wesseling | Annebregje Snijders | Margriet de Zwart | Wil Ummels | Miriam Boot | Michela Barone | Ingrid Annokkee | Neeltje ten Westenend | Claudy Jongstra | Martijn Sandberg | NAT-architecten | Peter van Kempen | Victor Schmidt | Hans Simons | Changiz Tehrani

 

Skyline and incidence of light

 

The Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) forms the centre of three major new buildings on the redesigned Oosterdokseiland, close to Central Station. The plan includes a library of nearly 30,000 m2 (including theatre), a large café, and 9000 m2 of office space. The Amsterdam design incorporates an elevated plinth that acts as a refined transition space between the upper and lower floors. The reading and study rooms are in the form of terraces, but instead of spiralling up, they’re positioned around large, high voids. On the top floor is a terrace accommodating the library’s theatre and conference rooms.

The main shape of the building is adapted to its environment; apartments on the west side and on the wide avenue to the east of the conservatory must get enough sunlight. At the same time, the library, on the broad waters of the Oosterdok, should contribute to an elegant skyline.