Caruso St John To "restructure" Asplund's Stockholm City Library

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News: British architecture studio Caruso St John has won a competition to restore and expand one particular of Sweden’s most significant 20th century buildings – the Stockholm City Library by Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund.

Caruso St John will pick up the baton for the library project, which has been on hold since 2009, right after becoming selected as “the most certified” firm for the activity of building 1 of Sweden’s most important public buildings.

Unlike the previous scheme – which was scrapped following funding issues and protests from heritage groups – Caruso St John’s design and style is being pitched as a “restoration and restructure”, rather than an completely new extension.


Associated story: Tate Britain Millbank renovation by Caruso St John completed


The studio’s proposal focuses on the reorganisation of the building’s internal spaces, which will be re-planned to assist the library adapt to contemporary demands.

“The project will involve function to the annex and bazaars as effectively as to the principal developing, and will be carried out in collaboration with Scheiwiller Svensson Arkitektkontor,” stated a statement from Caruso St John.

Perform is anticipated to start on the constructing in 2017, and be completed by 2019.

Stockholm Public Library by Gunnar Asplund This image: photograph by Peter Guthrie. Top image: image courtesy of Shutterstock

Inaugurated in 1928, Stockholm City Library was created by Erik Gunnar Asplund to be one particular of the world’s most modern day and accessible libraries and was the first in the country to provide public access to the stacks.

The orange structure is considered an exemplar of Nordic Classicism – a pre-war movement that was instrumental in the development of Modernism in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

The style was influenced by Asplund’s study tour of America’s public libraries. The principal lending library is housed in a cylinder in the middle of the building, accessed by way of a grand staircase, and is surrounded by three wings with flat roofs.

The building has remained well-liked with residents but has struggled to maintain up with the altering behaviours of library customers and an improve in footfall from the nearby Odenplan plaza. It is now also in require of significant upkeep perform, according to the city.

Stockholm Public Library by Gunnar Asplund Photograph by Wojtek Gurak

In 2007, German architect Heike Hanada won one particular of the biggest ever open architecture competitions to style an extension to the library – a project that then had an estimated price range of £60 million.

Hanada, an architecture teacher at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, was chosen from 1,160 entries by a jury that incorporated Adam Caruso, co-founder of Caruso St John. But the scheme was scrapped in 2009.

“The politicians say that it is too pricey. That is the official cause. But there is discussion on whether this is accurate,” Annika Jensfelt, an editor of the Swedish Association of Architects’ magazine Arkitekten told architecture newspaper BD in 2009. “Essential cultural men and women have debated it, saying it is spitting on Asplund. Maybe this is the correct reason.”

Caruso St John has established a name for itself as 1 of the UK’s ideal firms for designing pubic institutions. Final year it completed a £45 million renovation of London’s Tate Britain art gallery and the firm is presently operating on a new gallery to home the collection of British artist Damien Hirst.

Caruso St John Architects is most qualified for the activity. They have a recognised knowledge in operating with cultural and historical buildings and public buildings containing cultural activities,” mentioned Juan Copovi-Mena, Stockholm City’s house director.

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