2021-06-21Teil eines Buches DOI: 10.18452/23413
Converting the Utrecht Post Office into the Neude Library
In 2014, the city council of Utrecht decided not to proceed with building the new library that had been planned for sixteen years, arguing that reuse of an existing building would be the preferred option. Reuse of the privately owned main post office was the alternative presented, leading to the opening of the Neude Library in 2020. To implement the proposal successfully, the architects were obliged to connect the historic building into the fabric of the city. Another challenge was to create logical, navigable public spaces in a building designed originally for people who never went beyond the magnificent main hall. In the building, work and study places, the collection and rooms for activities competed for the available space. The Neude Library has not only a wonderful main hall for events and exhibitions but also a movie room, theatre, café, brasserie and lobby for the theatre and meeting rooms, and a lab for modern technology. The post office was built as a Gesamtkunstwerk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesamt kunstwerk) with different forms of art added to the architecture. During the whole process the citizens of Utrecht were kept informed and engaged in the process through tours, think tanks and a series of 21 short movies on the building process.
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