A new landmark is visible from far and located right next to Stuttgart’s main train station now dominates the state capital. South Korean architect Eun Young Yi has designed a building boasting clear and pared-down formal vocabulary for this special location – where traditional and digital media join forces to create a 21st-century library.
The central area belonging to the municipal library is made up of three main rooms with asymmetrical axis: the “forum” on the lowest story, a cubic room designated the “heart” on the entrance level and the reading room which rises up in the shape of an inverted stepped pyramid from the fifth right up to the ninth floor.
These three elements represent the basic idea behind modern library architecture – information, contemplation and communication.
The results are impressive. A special made luminaire, allows users of the municipal library to concentrate on their work for hours. At the heart of the lighting concept is the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI). This standardized digital interface make sure that optimum lighting is available everywhere and at all times.
The sheer architectural expression of the new Stuttgart City Library is the true highlight of this symbolic project. It is a landmark on the skyline of the city. The building is unsurpassed with its truly unique architecture and unusual concept. During the day it is an outstanding glass cube and in the night an impressive shining façade. The central element is the heart of the library. This is a completely empty cubic space over 4 floors in height with seamless smooth walls. The architect wanted a material concept of absolute homogeny and clarity.
Based on the architect’s demands for high-performance material able to produce an unbroken clean expanse, ARDEX Germany recommended PANDOMO® by ARDEX. Four 15m X 15m square walls were covered with PANDOMO® Wall. This totaled over 1,000 square meters. The result was perfectly uniform white walls. These almost joint free walls show great space expression without a cold look. It was the skill of the applicator to realize this concept and also impart a natural individual design to the surfaces.
For the floor, the architect also demanded a jointless classic design. There was also a need for a durable surface for such a high-traffic area. PANDOMO® TerrazzoMicro was offered as a solution for these design specifications. The client, architect and applicator all agreed that the efficiency of installations, finished result and value of the system made it the ideal choice. The final specification for PANDOMO TerrazzoMicro with white cement-binder and a fine white aggregate was named.
The finished result is a homogeneous grand expanse which complements the use of space and the vastness of the walls. PANDOMO TerrazzoMicro was finely ground, polished and impregnated to give a high-gloss, ultra-smooth finish. The new library is open to the public and is a house of inspiration to science and culture. In the future, this new building is expected to be the focal point of the European district in Stuttgart.
The opening ceremony for the new Stuttgart City Library by Yi Architects was on October 21, 2011. After winning a competition for the project in 1999, the new library for Stuttgart in southern Germany has finally been unveiled. Yi Architects have shared with us the drawings and images of the project.
The site for the Stuttgart City Library was chosen in Mailänder Platz, an area that is perceived to be a future city centre growing out of the location of the library. With this in mind, the architects chose to physically express the importance of this cultural centre by giving the building a grand physical presence. The building takes the form of cube with an edge length of 45 meters.
It is constructed out of pale grey fair-faced concrete that visually frames an array of 9 x 9 frosted glass bricks. The shell is designed as a double façade that includes the glass brick level and an inner mullion/transom façade as the thermal building shell.
The form and symmetry of entrance of the building was inspired by the “Cenotaph for Newton” by Étienne Boullée, but the heart and core of the library follows the design of the ancient pantheon. Protected by a secondary façade, the cube-shaped room is situated in the middle of the building and is illuminated by a central roof light. In the center is a 1 m² fountain that ties the space as a meditative area.
The gallery hall is a five-story space, square-shaped and surrounded by a shell of books. The interior circulation is arranged in a spiral among the reading gallery areas, designed to be flowing promenades flooded with light from the glass roof. The forum, a third central room, is located below the heart. This is an event room which is in proximity to the light-railway line that crosses the first and second basement floors.