2021-06-21Teil eines Buches DOI: 10.18452/23419
Converting and Extending a Historic Fire Station into a Library in Berlin, Germany
The new central library in Treptow, Berlin, Germany is located in a listed, early 20th century fire station which had been in a state of neglect for many years. The building is in a historic area and is surrounded by other important listed buildings including a waterworks building and a school. The renovation and extension of the building provided the district with an exciting and well-located new library and restored a landmark building to its former glory. The project was challenging in many ways not least because of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the original building, which has several constituent parts, while ensuring that it worked with the new extension to form a cohesive new complex which functioned well as a library. Materials for the extension were selected with care to complement the old, particularly in addressing the new roofscape as a whole. The crux of the project was to retain a building which is a symbol of the past, but which also creates a new contemporary library. The library is on three levels and the new extension connects to the historic building on the ground and first floors. The library is welcoming with a spacious entrance and a central information and service counter with a good overview of the whole space. In addition, the library is barrier-free, flooded with natural light and able to be used for events outside normal opening hours. The competition brief included specific requirements from the library staff which have been successfully met in the final design despite all the challenges posed.
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