The first was Malmö Stadsbibliotek (City Library) which, as can be seen from the pictures below, is really two buildings linked together by "The Cylinder":
|The library moved to "The Castle" at Regementsgatan in 1946|
|This entrance is also the link between the old and new parts of the building|
|This extension was added in 1997 and |
overlooks Slottsparken (Castle Park)
|The newer section of the library makes good use of natural light|
Art and funky furniture are key features of the building. The examples displayed here are housed within "The Cylinder" (above & right)
One particular feature of the library which was completely new to me was the use of motorised, ergonomic trolleys! Items can be stacked on these either upright or longways, with a tilting mechanism allowing either convenient browsing or for the books to moved around easily:
Next up was the Den Sorte Diamant (The Black Diamond) which incorporates the National Library of Denmark and Copenhagen University Library. This grand national library building actually shares many similarities with Malmö Stadsbibliotek, architecturally-speaking. It dates back to 1906 (Malmö library was founded in 1905 although it has since moved) with an impressive, glass-fronted extension added in 1999:
|The Black Diamond is another library which |
mixes contrasting old and new elements
|The entrance to the older part of the building. (At the time of my visit, the library was |
hosting an exhibition all about Danish Jews returning home after Word War II)
|Andrey Bartenev uses a lot of psychedelic and overtly sexual imagery in his installations,|
making for one of the more colourful & provocative archivs displays I've encountered!
|The inside of the building (also known as Det Kongelige Bibliotek |
or "The Royal Library") looking out to Copenhagen's harbour
Finally I visited Biblioteket Kulturværftet in Helsingør. It forms part of this historical Danish port town's "Culture Yard" complex which is an imposing metallic structure, jutting out onto the former dockyard.
|The library section of the Kulturværftet ("Culture Yard") can be seen on the left|
I liked this library a lot as it has a wealth of fun elements in it, including plenty of toys and games - both traditional and computerised - for kids to play around with, as well as balconies, a piano, exhibitions and artwork, even a lighthouse(!), a table tennis table(!!).. the list just goes on & on! In addition to all this, the library has a very sophisticated book sorter (supplied by Lyngsoe Systems) which has also been specially designed so that it is in-keeping with the library's industrial maritime theme.
|The library includes countless allusions to the town's nautical past|
(NB The lighthouse mentioned above can just about be seen in the background!)
|Anyone for table tennis?!..|
|Even the shelving includes fun elements, with lego figurines atop many of the stacks!|
|These spinning top chairs are rather fun too!|
|The balconies are reminiscent of those at the Saltire Centre|
(Glasgow Caledonian University) and look over the harbour
The library also boasts views to the town's spectacular castle - supposedly the setting of Shakespeare's 'The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'...
|Kronborg Castle, Helsingor (or "Elsinore") is believed |
to be the real-life inspiration behind Hamlet
It was great to finally see some of Scandinavia, if only this small section around the Øresund. I hope to go back and visit Norway, in particular, some day. Libraries aside, I would have to say Helsingborg was the real highlight for me. It's a stunning old city, right on the sea and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
|The sun setting over the harbour at Helsingborg|