Reading in the park : A new context for the library of Kungsholmen

University essay from KTH/Arkitektur

Abstract: My project is about the library of Kungsholmen, spaces for interaction and theactivity of reading. In the beginning of the 20th century The public libraries of Sweden was born out of the idea that the “people” needed to be educated. Collective public education became the instrument by which the people would become more involved in creating a modern society. Throughout the 20th century the library grew stronger and together with the idea of “Folkhemmet” they turned into strong and distinctive symbols of the collective civic value and democracy. The access of knowledge and a built environment for everyone is two of the fundamental values when speaking of the library. At Kungsholmens the library is cramped away within the rumbling noise of the intersection of SanktEriksgatan / Drottningholmsvägen. Here you find the entrance to the third most visited library in the Stockholm region with about 2000 visitors/day. There has been a decision made for transforming the property that the library is a part of into a new large Shopping mall. As the early plans show, one of the entrances to the mall will cut straight through the library space leaving the visitors to pass through the shopping mall when moving within the library space. The library holds a tempo and carries a certain atmosphere, an atmosphere that I find difficult to combine within a shopping mall environment. But also thefundamental thought that Valfrid Palmgren had, the author of the public library inSweden in the beginning of the 20th century, that the library was to be free from external and commercial forces. I therefor find it somehow problematic having to pass through a shopping mall to be able to access the public space of the library. I therefor propose a new site and a new context for the library of Kungsholmen. 

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