Open Air Library – Magdeburg Germany

21 04 2010

KARO Architekten just recently won the 2010 European Prize for public space with it’s open air library project in Magdeburg, Germany. The space was established in 2005 as an open air library located in the abandoned district centre. The community began the project in that year by constructing a 1:1 scale model of the possible library out of old beer crates and filling it with donated books. Google Maps still shows the site as a vacant patch of grass with a worn path through the centre.

The area of Magdeburg where the project is located is characterized by old industrial warehouses and factories, now bereft of any industry, and vacancy of up to 80%. The city centre of this area is full of closed shops and empty storefronts. From this, the urban experiment that is now the open air library was created.

With a little bit of financial assistance from the federal government, the official library opened in June of this year along with an accopmpanying cafe all run by the local residents. Toted as a pilot project for revitalizing East Germany’s derelict post-industrial cities, the new community centre is now complete and open for use. No registration is required to take out books. you simply take one and bring back within a reasonable amount of time, or bring back another old book.

This project has not only succeeded in adding a patch of green space to the industrial city, it has also established a very community oriented institution based on the trust of one’s neighbours. Sounds good to me. Looks good too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.archdaily.com/39417/open-air-library-karo-architekten/