Renovating the former railway station of Luckenwalde, a small town some 50 km south of Berlin, and converting it into a library formed part of the EU-sponsored URBAN programme. The project came from the Berlin firm of ARGE WFF. As well as restoring the existing complex they designed another building to house a library for children and adolescents.
The architects wanted the new building to look like an abstract sculpture, uniformly encased to convey the abstract idea and also form a handsome link to the façade of the newly-restored original complex. TECU Gold shingles in copper and aluminium, manufactured by KME, proved the ideal solution for such a brief. TECU Gold is both tough and economical; it changes colour as the light strikes its reflecting surface or weather conditions vary. Constant weathering gradually alters the colour in a way that depends on the alignment of the shingles, so that in time they come to subtly differ from one another. The building is regularly clad in these chip-shaped shingles though the way the angles lie changes according to the slope of the outer face. The window apertures follow the same principle and hence form an integral part of the cladding rather than being gaps in it.
Inside the new building the room layout is quite different from the straight-sided plan of the former station. The children’s library on the ground floor has open-plan reading and play areas; the older children’s library on the first floor has a cosier atmosphere. The adolescents’ section on the top floor connects to the audio-visual self-access facility.
The new library was inaugurated in July 2008. It immediately came into its own, galvanizing and upgrading the whole adjacent area.
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