Furuset HouseLibrary Design 26 Jan 2017
Redesigning a library to reflect a broad social environment while making people feel at home, regardless of background or social status. The goal was to create a space that was refined enough to be visited by adults, but not too intimidating or boring for children. How did we manage to strike this balance?
A living room for all parties
The old Furuset Branch library was remodeled as the Furuset House. In this house the Youth Club, dance lessons, all kinds of social events, knitting courses, the textile workshop and library visitors all come together. We chose a living room atmosphere to accommodate all these parties and activities.
Warm colors and wooden floors made people feel welcome. The use of organic shapes and round edges generated a smooth overall appearance. We created circular indentations in the walls, inviting people to climb in and have a read. Statement props made the space fun and memorable, including a giant stuffed bunny as a comfortable seating opportunity for children.
Making people feel at home, regardless of background or social status
Along with the rich spectrum of social experiences, the library implemented Deichman’s Meråpent, meaning an increase in opening hours by allowing patrons to use the library throughout the day even without staff present. We kept Deichman’s motto in mind: Hold Deg Våken! Keep yourself awake. We offered people alternative and entertaining reasons to stay in the building. A library that offers meeting tables and a cafeteria is already giving you two potential reasons to stay, but why not also include football and billiard tables? This array of activities and opportunities managed to encompass education, business, and play.
Furuset is a new cultural hotspot in Oslo
The library’s interior design now gave people sufficient opportunities to choose between withdrawing to enjoy a book, or interacting with people. Children and adults both had areas they felt comfortable in, along with opportunities to experience and interact. By creating space for meetings, gathering together, gaming and events, this living room was now inviting to all; it did not discriminate. In the end, we created something different with the tool of interior design, offering a little bit of everything to everyone. Furuset House is now a library that dares to stray far away from the classic white walled environment and demands to be enjoyed longer than planned. This public space is a home away from home that invites you to stay, to meet people and to enjoy. The Furuset House is now a cultural hotspot in an Oslo suburb.
Photography: Marco Heyda + Jan Willen van Bruggen – Video: Marco Heyda – Client: Deichmanske Bibliotek, Stine Greni – Production: Edubib.eu – Structural architect: Rodeo Architects, Oslo.