Deichman library in Oslo – A Readers’ paradise overlooking the fjord with sustainable architecture and stunning visuals

• Sustainable library in accordance with the
Passivhaus standard
• Happy D.2 and DuraStyle guarantee optimized
water usage, hygiene, and short cleaning times

When viewed from outside, the striking elements of the Deichman library are its sloping frontage and
glass façade. Another truly outstanding feature is the fact that the building meets the Passivhaus
standard, resulting in a saving of 50 percent of emissions compared to similar buildings. This was
achieved using an innovative façade structure, novel ventilation systems and cooling with sea water, as
well as the use of recycled materials. The sustainability concept extends into the bathroom
areas: toilets from the Happy D.2 range as well as electronically powered DuraStyle urinals from the
designer bathroom manufacturer Duravit guarantee optimized water usage, hygiene, and short cleaning
times. Library with a clear view of the fjord Norway’s library is located centrally in the
Bjørvika district between Oslo’s main railway station and the opera. It was designed by the
architecture firm Lund Hagem Architekter AS in collaboration with Atelier Oslo and attracts
millions of visitors a year. The building has six floors that are held in place by three towers,
creating an open space in the centre of the building that forms an atrium. This openness, the elongated façade windows, and the lighting shafts generate an inviting ambience bathed in daylight with a clear view of the fjord.

Unique concept
The library is accessed via three central entrances in the east, west, and south. The exterior merges
into the interior on the ground floor, where visitors are fluidly guided into the foyer. Diagonal
light shafts that extend across all floors distribute additional light to the entrance zones.
At the heart of the design is the continuous central library room. Additional library rooms are located
on the upper levels. The building also houses an auditorium, workshops, reading rooms, a cinema,
offices, and various stacks. The building’s overall concept generates a unique
impression: in addition to the actual lending and reading of more than 400,000 books, there is a year round program of concerts, fairs, workshops, and various courses for all ages. Visitors can while
away some time in the restaurant and cafeteria with roof terrace, which offer not only food and drink
but also a dash of hygge.

The Deichmanske library is one of Norway’s most illustrious and largest public libraries. It can
trace its origins back to 1785 following the death of the businessman and industrial pioneer Carl
Deichman, who not only lent his name to the library, but also bequeathed his collection of 6,000 books to
the city and its residents, which still today form the foundation of the library’s collection.

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