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New Glasgow library will be fully energy sufficent

At the end of May the construction started for the new public library in Glasgow. It is expected that the building designed by NRA will be delivered in the autumn of 2017. The new library is a great example of an energy-efficient building and is stuuning to look at as well. Her appearance will encourage a literal mountain of books to be read.

The architecture and design

The new library with a total surface of 10,000 square meters is located in the Centre of Glasgow and is located on the corner of a major roadlink, the main market square and opposite a church building. In addition to the book collection and the reading spaces, the library offers space for commercial and retail usage, offices, an auditorium, meeting rooms and an exhibition space. The appearance of the library refers in both design and in the use of building materials to traditional Scottish industrial architecture and is a reminder of the industrial past of Glasgow.

 The library is designed to promote reading. By stacking the various components such as offices, meeting rooms and auditorium vertically, wide terraces of different sizes of bookcases are created. Together this forms an imposing mountain of books. The terraces are connected to each other by a set of staircases and forms a main route to the mountain back to the top, from which panoramic views of Glasgow. The mountain of books is covered by a glass dome, making it feel like a library in the open air. The dome is a simple membrane, an almost invisible envelope containing the sharp edges of the building. The dome is also a climate controlled public space. Sun screens (like used in greenhouses) and ventilation in the summer ensure for a pleasant indoor climate. To regulate the climate in the winter there is underfloor heating Glasgow, individual heating elements and double glazing. The climate system is a carefully balanced collection of sustainable elements that compose an innovative, highly durable system. From the dome you have a nice overview of the city of Glasgow and you can look over all the surrounding streets. The other way around, you can look into the library from the street, making the people interested and curiouis and this will attract new visitors to the library.

Sustainable energy

The climate system has been developed in close cooperation with underfloor heating company Incognito Heat Co and was nominated for last years Scottish Engineering Award, a prize that is awarded annually to an innovative project of economic and social importance. The new public library is part of a larger plan. To strengthen the City Centre and increase density, MVRDV designed a series of apartment buildings next to the public library that reflect the local typology on a larger scale. The entire plan will be carried out in brick, making that the existing industrial heritage is continued and that the identity of the area is accentuated. Delivery of the library and the apartments is scheduled for september 2017.