Hubland Library is a co-creation of international creative guide and architect Aat Vos (design, strategy, creative direction) and Klaus Dossler of dossler.design (engineering partner). “The goal was to create a house that reflects the new vision of Stadtbücherei Würzburg: for its users, by its users. The challenge was to connect the community to the history of this place, but also empower them to tell their own new story and provide a low threshold room that helps build a community.”
Taking account of reality
Anja Flicker, Director Stadtbücherei Würzburg, says: “Contemporary library work takes people's living realities into focus. For example: we learned from local adolescents that they desire to chill in privacy with peers, and not as we thought, in a noisy action area. This knowledge led to providing the basement with a more secluded gaming zone, cocoons to hang out in and a UFO to offer an opportunity for retreat as well as for discoveries.
“By closely involving the residents in the development process, a sense of pride in being involved and great enthusiasm is created in the neighbourhood. We strive for everyone to feel at home here.”
Hubland Library relies on the Open Library concept, which means that the library is also accessible outside staffed hours; everyone with a library card has access to the library between 7am and 10pm.
Not just for aliens
The fusion of history and progress has been translated into an interior design with features that playfully wink at Hubland’s US Army and aircraft roots. Even the typology of the signing refers to old oil company logos. Three eye-catching ‘specials’ are important features in the design story: a coffee car in a luggage vehicle on the ground floor, designed as a central meeting point, a life-size air balloon for kids to hide in and a stunning piece of custom craftsmanship… a massive UFO for group sessions at the basement. This informal meeting spot for young people seems to be able to take off at any time thanks to long steel tubes.
Next to these three ‘specials’, Hubland Library offers various stages for play and performance, a coffee zone (in addition to the coffee car), a giant reading table/makerspace, smaller reading/relax cocoons, a work bar, a space for kids to climb, clamber and play, a kitchen for parents (to warm up their baby’s milk bottle for instance), and more.
Photos: Marco Heyda