Winner chosen for new university library in Gothenburg

9 June 2021
  • Cobe
  • Cobe
  • Cobe
  • Cobe



University Library Gothenburg, Sweden, by Cobe

Tenderstream member Cobe has won the international design competition for a new university library in the heart of Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg. Cobe’s project was selected by a unanimous jury, made up of representatives from state-owned property company Akademiska Hus, the University of Gothenburg, the City of Gothenburg and Architects Sweden. The jury praised the winning design for its development potential and unique identity.

Cobe’s concept reflects an opened book in the subtle curvature of the building’s volume and the vertical lines of its façade. The building rests on a transparent ground floor, with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that add to the inviting nature of the design. Inside, the library contains quiet zones for focused work as well as active areas and gathering spaces that can be used for events, exhibitions, meetings, and lectures. The ground floor is paved in granite, with a visible concrete structure suitable for large, open areas. The eight upper floors, which house the library itself, are constructed from wood that reduces the building’s CO2 footprint, while providing a pleasant indoor environment. 

In the core of the library, Sweden’s first fully automated book depository stores and retrieves the facility’s various media. Public stairs are situated around this depository, placing books and knowledge at the core of the building. Study areas and offices are located toward the façade, ensuring optimal daylight conditions and offering visitors and staff views over the park and the city. 

Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder of Cobe, stated: “With the library’s placement at the top of the hill, we aim to create a distinctive beacon of knowledge. The book serves as the inspiration and point of departure for the design – the building volume, its colours and materials all point to a book being opened. Regardless of which direction you approach it from, you are invited in. The integration of the building and park was a key consideration from the outset, and we have deliberately preserved as much of the existing park landscape as possible. In doing so, we have created an open connection between the city, the university and the library’s users.”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

This tender was first published by Tenderstream on 28.05.2019 here

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