Jonah, Ahab and Pinocchio have something in common: they were all bred from the pages of a book and all ended up in the bowels of a whale, a closed and mysterious world, to then be reborn.
With a bit of imagination, entering a library or simply reading a book can be a similar experience. As is known to the architects of Helen & Ward, who designed a multifunctional library in Vennesla, whose interiors resemble the belly of an enormous wooden whale.
The new library incorporates a cafè, meeting places, an administrative area and connects a learning center to a pre-existing community house according to principles of relational design.
A large glass façade, an external loggia which dialogues with the urban environment and an internal passage make the center a place that is open to the public, easily accessible and hospitable.
The project is supported by a veritable skeleton composed of 27 "ribs", hybrid elements that fuse structure, infrastructure, furniture and interiors in a single architectural element.
Each "rib" is an acoustic-absorbent multilayered and multifunctional panel, from which the air ducts and columns pass. The modules serve also as niches, lighting covers and tables. An idea that won the library a class A standing for its low energy consumption according to Norvegian standards.
Photos via hha.no