A place for inter-generational sharing, meeting and learning, the Dornbirn Library is a joint project of the architectural offices Dietrich l Untertrifaller and Christian Schmoelz. The team won an international architectural competition for the project in early 2016.
Amongst a field of rectangular buildings, the library’s ovoid shape stands out in an expressive manner. The façade is clad with ceramic elements inspired by the appearance of books arranged on shelves. The elements are mounted on a steel frame at a distance of 70 cm from the glazed façade.
Light filters through façade, not only allowing for views of the surrounding park and city but also acting as a shading system that saves energy and costs. There is a ring of room-high wood aluminium windows with triple glazing and additional ventilation in working areas to ensure optimal air quality throughout.
The library responds to an increasing digitalisation of every days life, with the library itself taking on the formality of a public living room, allowing people with similar interest and goals to come together - individually or sometimes together.
The library comprises a total of 1200 square meters over 3 storeys and houses 100,000 books and magazines, cosy corners for reading or listening to music, as well as offices and meeting rooms. A flexible assembly hall space doubles as a reading area. There are also separate areas for different age groups, providing a gaming zone, zones for children and zones where young people can meet to try out the latest electronic games.