2021-06-21Teil eines Buches DOI: 10.18452/23409
From Locomotives to Libraries at Wildau Technical University, Germany
The Hochschulbibliothek/Library of the Technische Hochschule Wildau/Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau (TH Wildau) is housed in Hall 10, a former locomotive shed constructed in 1920 and located on the former industrial site of the Schwartzkopff factory south of Berlin, Germany. The complexity and demands of accommodating the multiple functions of the library along with the historic protection of the building made the project especially challenging. The University required a 21st century academic library combined with a canteen and café housed in a listed building. The underlying philosophy for the architects was to retain the character, spatial quality and structural integrity of the original building while creating a new, interpretive architectural expression for the extension and renovation. New materials and techniques echoed and complemented the old. Inexplicably the final bay of the former locomotive shed was never completed and the new project a century later was able both to return the building to its original length and symbolically mark the new use as a library. The library moved from uninspiring and inadequate quarters to a stunningly restored building in an imposing site that was full of character and had an ambience that was a great draw for users. For the librarians, the project provided the opportunity to raise the library’s profile, introduce new services through the exploitation of innovative technologies, and embrace a whole range of state-of-the-art uses, events and cooperative ventures. Advantages and drawbacks of the project are discussed and the benefits of reusing a historic building for a modern academic library are highlighted.
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