Public Library Almere
Stadhuisplein 101, Almere
2001 - 2010
Public building containing public library, offices, a strategic reserve, shops, 30 apartments and a garden. Ca. 20.300 m² gfa.
Library: City of Almere
2010 Winner Architecture Award Almere
2010 Winner Library of the Year
The wedge-shaped of Almere’s new public library site occupies a prominent position next to the town hall, with its apex on Town Hall Square. The block accommodates several different functions. The Diagonaal frontage is lined by retail spaces, on Wandellaan there are 30 apartments, while the southwest corner contains a strategic reserve of over 2000 m² for the library. The principal element of the block is the public library. Although the welcoming main entrance lies on the square, the library is emphatically present on all sides of the block.
The library is succession of spaces which together form a route some 400 metres in length. An escalator near the entrance carries visitors up to the first of a series of ascending terrace floors which bring them to the second floor. On the second floor the route continues via an escalator to the study centre on the fourth floor or to the auditorium.
The building has a figure of eight ground plan and the combination of several loops gives the library its clarity and flexibility. Large light wells make for an inviting and lucid interior. Glass walls throughout maintain contact with the outside world, while the light wells and the garden provide contact between the different parts of the building. While the apartments are a clearly distinguishable element, they are nonetheless an integral part of the whole.