As part of my summer study abroad, I had the opportunity to take a studio in Copenhagen. In my first Architectural Design Studio outside of CMU, we were tasked with designing a public library for Nørrebro, a young, multicultural neighborhood in Copenhagen. Our site was designated as Hans Tavsens Park, which we were able to visit and hear about from local residents. The inspiration for my project came from these experiences. Generally, the park is well-liked and well-used by all demographics for through circulation, relaxation, and playful activity. Additionally, clusters of mature trees are integral in shaping space and defining the atmosphere of the park. For these reasons, I chose to retain the park as is and integrate my project into the existing, both physically and socially.
The program weaves around the existing trees in a series of structures that carve exterior space, connecting the park and the project. While each of the structures can be accessed separately, circulation and exterior decks connect them.
The project developed by weaving the program around the trees as separate pavilions and then working with two folding elements that connect the boxes. This comes through an interior circulation path and exterior, visual material. The folds both connect and orient the buildings, creating interesting moments where they intersect.
The adult collections and Nørrebro collection bridge over the walking path and stand at 3 levels closest to the built edge of the park, which is bordered by 6-story residential buildings. As the project branches further into the park, it sinks lower, with a two-story children and youth structure, 1-story restaurant, 1-story exhibition, and mostly underground auditorium.
The main entrance comes off the node connecting the park, plaza, and circulation paths. There the user can access the cafe and newspaper corner immediately and media and blind collections further back with the librarian housed in the middle. Moving up, the adult collection carve group space on floor 1 and individual work space on floor 2. Every level connects to the private offices and support space on the back. On the top level, a bridge over the walking path leads to the Nørrebro collections, which weave through every level and connect to the youth collection on floor 1 and the childrens' collection on the ground floor. Then, separately, exterior circulation leads to the restaurant and exhibition, which leads into the lowered auditorium at the far end of the park.
The youth occupy floor 1, while the children utilize the ground floor. The sectional relationship between the two levels allows the groups to stay separate and still interact with each other.
The project does not disturb the existing activities of the park, but rather facilitates their use, especially during times when the park is not currently heavily in use. This includes all hours and seasons for which the park is typically not so enticing on its own.