Friday, November 16, 2007

German Architect Wins Stockholm Library Extension Competition

By Jonas Bergman
Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- German architect Heike Hanada won the competition to expand Gunnar Asplund's Stockholm City Library with a design she called Delphinium.

Hanada beat out five other finalists from Denmark, Italy, Finland, Lithuania and the U.K. in the competition to expand the famed rotunda library, which opened in 1928. More than 6,000 architects from about 120 countries submitted proposals when the competition was announced in May last year.

``Delphinium is a skillfully executed proposal -- delicate, bright and with the quality of a new icon,'' the Stockholm city- appointed jury said in a statement. ``It will make an exceptionally beautiful addition to Stockholm architecture.''

The project includes a glass building, which connects to Asplund's library by a low, podium-like structure enclosing a circular, `` secret'' garden. The white glass building lights up at night and will ``invite to discussion or to just a quiet moment to oneself amongst other people,'' the jury said.

Hanada, born in 1964, lives in Weimar in Eastern Germany, and teaches architecture at Bauhaus University there. She has lectured extensively around the world and has had exhibits in Tokyo, Berlin and Luxembourg, according to the jury.

``I'm very happy and will devote all of my energy to this project,'' she said in a statement. ``My vision of the finished result is a library of our time with open, light flowing spaces, which has a complementary relationship to the Asplund building and makes its own imprint on Stockholm.''

A plan for the project will now be drafted for the city council to make a financial decision next year. The library has about 3,000 visitors daily.

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