spiraling void
project name

spiraling void

Extension of the City Library of Stockholm

  • Client:

    City of Stockholm

  • Location:

    Stockholm, Sweden

  • Date:

    Competition 2007

  • Area:

    23 000 sqm


In order to properly answer the brief and enhance the overall quality of the area the existing annexes are replaced by a new extension.

In the tradition of the existing  library by Asplund, the extension is devised as large container of knowledge.

It’s urban position:

Reveals Asplunds building as an icon and signal for the library from odenplan: a large urban plaza is created at streetlevel (+15m). Highly accessible for users of both libraries, it enables   temporary outdoor events

Bridges Odengatan with the park of Observatorielunden: to promote use of the park which today lacks accessibility, the new building provides direct access to the park. The landscaped roof at level +34 +35 blends and becomes an extension of the park.

Grafts with the existing and future urban fabric:  from Odenplan the library is immediately accessed on the upper street level (+18.7m) ,in  the north western  corner of the site. A pedestrian connection from the urban plaza (+15m), the lower level of the library (learning areas and lecture halls), links to the underground and the city railway.  This would make a natural extension of the planned underground shopping centre, leading commuters from the stations to the exteriors via the calm plaza and the city library.


The existing library will be restored to it’s original state, with enhanced vertical connections (book transportation, connection to extension…).  I will house all the academic and scientific subject areas giving it the role of a temple of knowledge.


The subject areas are organized in a linear fashion, from fiction to science. In the extension, the organization coils up around a central void, in a continuum of floor levels:

– Theme areas are not locked by a single floor but could be freely remodeled, expanded upwards or downwards. flexibility

– The gaze wanders freely within this open structure making orientation easy and promoting discovery and use of new sections.  orientation 

Escalators bring the visitors up to the upper levels (fiction). Gently sloping ramps (5%) spiral around the central void, connecting all the levels and rendering the library accessible to all.

The learning zone is located on the plaza level, with high accessibility. The restaurant is set on the roof level, open onto the park and the view.



The arts library bridges the existing library, knowledge, with the extension, fiction. As not to alter the Asplund library, the connection between them   is made underground. By connecting diagonally, the structure stays clear out of the subway tunnel. The arts section is covered by a triangulated, landscaped roof with large glazed surface bringing zenithal light to the reading areas


The extension is a glass structure largely open on the city. It is wrapped with a pleated metal structure, a unifying veil that protrudes,  catches and reflects the morning and evening sun, filtering light .