Richard Murphy Architects
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Heidenheim Library Competition

Heidenheim Library Competition

The practice was invited to enter a limited competition for a new 20m Euro library for the Baden-Württemberg town of Heidenheim.  The long thin site stretched between two major roads in the town with one long elevation being pedestrianised against a recent large residential development.  The design proposed a “hillside of bookcases” starting a first floor level with children, then youth and finally an adult bookcase which stretched 100 metres from one end of the building to the other projecting out into the street at both ends to advertise the library’s core function to passers by.  There were no book stacks but rather all the books were on display and arranged in angled walls and terraces to create open study areas on the open side of the hillside and a series of small cellular spaces within the hillside. A café, an independently accessed restaurant, auditoria and other facilities were also all incorporated into the design.   A folded roof admitting light and supported on steel trees cascaded down on top of the hillside but prevented library users from looking straight into the adjacent apartment windows.  The roof culminated in a lantern the length of the building which would have signalled the whole building at night time.  Unfortunately the design was not successful.  The winning design can be seen here http://www.competitionline.com/de/ergebnisse/129440

15 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1RW | Tel 0131 220 6125 | www.richardmurphyarchitects.com