Biblo Tøyen

03 Feb 2017

A library to upgrade an entire district – is that even possible? It is, especially with an unusual and exciting target audience. This library is located at Tøyen Square in ‘Gamle Oslo’, an area that is being modernized to compensate for the removal of the Munch Museum from the quarter.

Going back in time ourselves, to create a third place for the future

Biblo Tøyen Youth Library is a library based on targeting exclusively children that are between 10 to 15 years old. This concept was novel for Tøyen, for Oslo and even for Norway. The goal was to create an a-typical culture house that would speak to this target audience in as many ways, shapes, colors, props and forms as possible. We based our creative choices on Deichman’s motto: Hold Deg Våken! Keep yourself awake! Which is not as simple as it sounds when dealing with the vigorous and excited minds of the new generation. This library had to be not only distinctive, but extraordinary.

This concept was novel for Tøyen, for Oslo and even for Norway.

Aat Vos

Creative Guide

We wanted to enrich the children’s experience by inspiring them and inviting them to play, interact and discover. Interior design was the tool we used, but psychology was the foundation. The design is based on our close collaboration with an architectural psychologist. We also asked children what they wanted in a library, and we did our very best to take a walk in a younger pair of shoes and connect with the young developing brain. With the rapid pace of modernization and developments in our society, the young mind sometimes loses connection with reality while exploring new paths, and is always looking for clues. The library design multiplied its creativity thanks to the hiring of a crew of very skilled set-builders to create a stunning environment.

A library design that let’s you float away into fascination

Unexpected props and striking visuals made this library come alive. Wavy mirror walls, a truck as a tea booth and wheel barrels as chairs are just some of the creative details. Single gondolas from ski lifts are also floating around in this library, inviting the kids to hop in and let their minds go on a journey. Murals on the walls remind visitors more of a theater or a theme park, with an opportunity to nestle into comfy pillows in a submarine inspired corner filled with blue light, or to flip through pages while seated in a regal barber chair.

The space is filled with a sense of weightlessness and ease due to the many floating elements, including bookshelves. This project was a truly unique endeavor that allowed us to cater to an extremely important target audience. The result is probably the most fascinating library you will find. Anywhere.

Project credits

Photography: Marco Heyda + Jan Willem van Bruggen
Video: Marco Heyda – Client: Deichmanske Bibliotek, Reinert Mithassel
Production: Artisan Tech AS, Damian Williams

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