Dokk1 is Scandinavia's largest public library and represents a new generation of modern hybrid libraries. The 35,000 m² building also houses a citizen service centre, office space, automated parking for 1,000 cars and new harbour-side public squares. The project is situated at the mouth of the Aarhus River in one of the most prominent sites of the city centre of Aarhus. Dokk1 is not simply a building. It is a place for exchanging knowledge and opportunities and a multicultural meeting point that will change people’s perception of the entire city.
Dokk1 is part of the ambitious district plan to revitalise the former industrial cargo docks on the harbour front by connecting the area both visually and physically to the historic centre of the city.
The leading idea is a covered urban space. A large polygonal slice hovers above a glazed prism, which rests on a square of ice flake-shaped stairs fanning out to the edge of the sea.
The two open levels of the library are connected by the media ramp, which consists of five platforms, each dedicated to a different activity.
A fully automated below ground car park and a station on the Light Rail Transit system makes Dokk1 a central traffic node for people coming to Aarhus.
Materials are few, robust and durable; concrete, wood, glass, timber and metal. Contrast plays a significant role: robust vs. refined, soft vs. hard, colour vs. white, light vs. dark.
Photo credits: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.