A NEW LIBRARY FOR GOES28 Sep 2021
The just opened new library of Goes, situated in the Dutch province Zeeland, is an inclusive,
versatile Third Place where everyone can find something to do. Its interior, designed by
aatvos, reflects the city and regional country life. Users are invited to discover the enriching
library program and to simply enjoy ‘time well spent’ in one of the numerous cocoons or at
the café-like indoor terrace.
Goes Library, a branch of Bibliotheek Oosterschelde, moved to a new location and is now located next to the city’s theater, creating a concentration of cultural functions in the center. “We wanted to reposition the library as a revitalizing boost for civic life. Together with the library team and stakeholders we rebranded the library into a genuine Third Place: an instrument for urban renewal and improved socialization. To ensure its success as much as possible, several criteria must be met. Think of factors like the venue having low-threshold access, visibility, usability, safety, comfort, and a hospitable experience,” Aat Vos, Creative Director at aatvos explains.
COMMITMENT TO INCLUSIVENESS
In terms of comfort for its visitors, Goes Library truly goes the extra mile. Next to the described crucial standards, the aatvos team added a dash of informality. According to Aat Vos, needs the library to become a place that you visit for ‘time well spent’ instead of ‘time well saved’. Libraries have a commitment to inclusiveness like no other, and this is reflected in the interior. Just as people are unique individuals, the interior is a mix of moods, shapes, styles, spheres, space and order, look and feel. This vast spectrum of characteristics aims to satisfy the needs of patrons’ different characters. Aat Vos continues: “This library welcomes everyone. Whether young people, elderly, children, people with disabilities, regulars, day-trippers, tourists, market-goers… Or bookworms, newspaper aficionados, freelancers, cyclists, friends, students, schoolchildren, 3D-makers, collaborators, you name it.” Jannie van Vugt, Director of Bibliotheek Oosterschelde: ”The route to the new library took over a decade, but is was worth the wait as the extensive preliminary process provided a strong policy foundation under the final result. The new library is the ultimate tool to fulfill our promise to the city of Goes. This special third place occupies a central position in the cultural, social and educational network of the city. It brings the residents of Goes together. The professionalism of the staff of Oosterschelde Library, combined with the strength of the local community, enrich the (inner) city.”
ZEELAND BARNHOUSE AS CENTERPIECE
The library of Goes encourages people to enrich themselves in the library and the “crawl and creep” interior style activates everyone to do so. To highlight Goes’ country life a typical Zeeland barnhouse made of reclaimed wood – within an abstract of Goes’ city skyline – is the centerpiece of the interior. It holds various functions, such as a course room, a café with a covered terrace, a stage, workstations and an amphitheatre where children can crawl and scramble, also called a ‘reading garden’. A welcoming bar combines library service with coffee. Other highlights include a workshop with its own kitchen, numerous cocoons each with individual identities, living rooms and communal (reading) tables.
SOFT MATERIALS MEET CLINKER FLOOR
In the reading garden children can pick out a spot on their own. The family room is especially popular with parents with toddlers and preschoolers, thanks to the use of soft materials and a large rug. And then the garden room has a greener and more urban character thanks to the combination of plants, a work bar and picnic tables. The clinker floor in the new library reinforces the idea of an urban environment where you are free to stay and explore. “We wanted to give visitors the feeling that they are as free in the library as they are outside on the street, says Jasper Poortvliet, architect at aatvos. Our graphic designer designed prints for the back walls of the cocoons. These prints are abstractions of typical Goese scenes. It may not be immediately noticeable, but the observant visitor will recognize some of the images.” The library may be very versatile with something for everyone, however library visitors do not have to worry to get lost. The “city light” signage helps find the way. Thus, a visit to Goes Library is a valuable experience for everyone.
Client: Bibliotheek Oosterschelde
Strategy, Design, Art-Direction: aatvos (team: Aat Vos, Jasper Poortvliet, Tessa Wennink, Sjoerd Rekker)
Barn experience: 20Tree
Supplier rugs: TMC Project
Consulting design phase (w-installations, lighting, fire safety, environmental permit): Bureau Bouwkunde
Integration of digital communication in interior design: digitectuur
Photography: Marco Heyda/aatvos