Dokk1, Aarhus, Denmark

Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Scandinavia's Largest Public Library

Dokk1 represents a new generation of modern hybrid libraries. Situated at the mouth of the Aarhus River, the building also houses a citizen service center, office space, fully-subterranean automated parking for 1,000 cars, a light rail transit station, and a new harbor-side public square. Dokk1 is the largest construction project by the municipality of Aarhus in the city’s history.

Dokk1 is Scandinavia's largest public library that represents a new generation of modern hybrid libraries.
The design is a covered urban space where a large polygonal slice hovers above a glazed prism, resting on a square of ice flake-shaped stairs that fan out to the edge of the sea.
A fully automated below ground car park and a station on the Light Rail Transit system makes Dokk1 a central traffic node for people coming to Aarhus.
The top slice contains offices, while the glassed space below offers 360-degree panoramic views and allows passers-by visual access to the activities within.
Dokk1 appears light, with a clean rawness in line with Scandinavian tradition.
In contrast to this simplicity in construction, clever use of color and materials inside give areas character and facilitate easy orientation.