Tingbjerg Library

cobe tingbjerg library exterior cobe tingbjerg library exterior
A setting for
social interaction

Year: First prize in competition 2013, completed 2018

Client: City of Copenhagen, SAB, FSB

Program: Culture house, library and community center

Size: 1,500 m²

The city of Tingbjerg was envisioned as a modernistic suburban garden city, designed with the best intentions of providing high-quality housing and beautiful greenery. It represented a fresh start for many families during the 1950s and 60s, when large groups of people began to own cars and leave the polluted post-war city center. Unfortunately, today, the neighborhood ranks on the Danish government’s official list of marginalized crime-ridden areas and is stigmatized by negative media coverage. The Tingbjerg Library is part of an ambitious strategy to revive the area and restore a sense of pride. A local community center and an iconic learning and knowledge center offer a place for the residents to meet across cultural barriers. With the open frame as an architectural reference, the library is designed to project the activity of the building and the lives of the residents of Tingbjerg onto the surrounding area as a large display.

cobe tingbjerg library diagram 01
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Tingbjerg was designed by architect and professor Steen Eiler Rasmussen and landscape architect C. Th. Sørensen during the 1950s as a visionary and cultural mini-city in a beautiful green setting.

cobe tingbjerg library exterior
cobe tingbjerg library exterior
cobe tingbjerg police

Modern-day Tingbjerg is a marginalized and socially challenged area with a mono-functional planning and a lack of social meeting places.

Can architecture
help redefine the
identity of an area?

In an area that is generally characterized by closed façades and a general sense of introversion, everyday life and the many opportunities provided by the library are put on display to the outside world. A large, open façade toward the street ensures full-scale exposure to the surrounding neighbourhood.

cobe tingbjerg library diagram

Tingbjerg Library is an extension to the existing Tingbjerg School placed in direct connection to with the school infrastructure.

cobe tingbjerg library diagram

Tingbjerg Library creates a new entrance to the school - placed exactly where the main entrance to the school was originally situated.

cobe tingbjerg library diagram

Like a screen that projects the activities and meeting spaces within the building, a large open façade face the street ensures full-scale exposure toward the surrounding neigbourhood.

As an architect, it is an honour to have the opportunity to build in Tingbjerg because of its rich architectural history and because it was created by two prominent figures in Danish modernism, architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen and landscape architect Carl Theodor Sørensen, so you feel ob-ligated to try to match their achievements. Before we even began our work the bar was set high. We wanted to create a new destination in Tingbjerg that respects both its surroundings through choice of materials and shape while at the same time creating a strong identity of its own.

cobe tingbjerg library exterior
cobe tingbjerg library exterior

The Tingbjerg Library is an extension to the existing school and consists of two main functions: A library and a cultural center. With its location in the center of Tingbjerg, the library creates a new common meeting place that draws people into the area.

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cobe tingbjerg library detail 06
cobe tingbjerg library detail

The architecture and choice of materials respect the historic surroundings designed by architect and professor Steen Eiler Rasmussen during the 1950s. Using the same basic materials found in the area, such as yellow brick cladding, but in a new way, the building maintains a clear link to Tingbjerg’s unique original character.

Culture as a setting
for meetings

A typical Danish design item hanging in many people’s living rooms is the typesetter drawer, used as a set of tiny shelves for displaying favourite personal items. Tingbjerg Library uses the same principle to showcase activity and social life at the library to the surrounding community.

cobe tingbjerg library diagram
cobe tingbjerg library exterior

The building’s users can engage in a myriad of activities and events within multifunctional rooms, including classes, workshops, lectures and musical performance. All activities are visible from within the building and animate the glass façade to the exterior surroundings.

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cobe tingbjerg library interior kids 09

Shifting floor plates, niches and balconies on the four levels of the library create the impression of a small mountain village clinging to the hillside.

cobe tingbjerg library interior

The heart of the building is defined by the wedge form extending three-dimensionally into the building as a grand unifying space and creating an open foyer.

cobe tingbjerg library interior

The interior is clad in warm plywood and wooden slats, creating an optimal acoustic indoor climate. The design offers a tactile, soft and intimate environment as a contrast to the often hard atmosphere of the surrounding neighbourhood.

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cobe tingbjerg library interior 13
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The plywood slats engage in dialogue with the exterior brick baguettes.

cobe tingbjerg library detail lamellas 15
cobe tingbjerg library detail lamellas 16
cobe tingbjerg library exterior
cobe tingbjerg library exterior
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Client: City of Copenhagen, SAB, FSB

Program: Culture house, library and community center

Size: 1,500 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2013, completed 2018

Collaborators: Rune Fjord Studio, Kragh & Berglund, Søren Jensen, C.C. Bruun Enterprise, Kemp & Lauritzen, Juul & Nielsen, Rambøll Architecture

Awards: The Arne Award 2018 Nominee, Danish Design Award 2019 Finalist, Architizer A+ Awards 2019 Jury Winner, Fast Company’s 2019 Innovation by Design Award Honoree

Team: Anis Souissi, Caroline Krogh Andersen, Christian Sander, Dan Stubbergaard, Daniel Axelsen, Frederik Lyng, Jacob Lantow, Kasper Munk, Mads Knak-Nielsen, Milan Milenkovski, Morten Andersen, Nikolaj Harving, Rachel Wan, Rasmus Bernhard Nielsen, Rune Veile, Thomas Krarup

Photographer: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST

Image credits: Please note that we have used a small number of images for which the copyright holders could not be identified. In these cases it has been our assumption that such images belong to the public domain. If you claim ownership of any of the images presented and have not been properly identified, please notify Cobe and we will make a formal acknowledgement.