The original, protected railway building has been renovated and added to with a new annex housing library services for children and young people. As a central public facility, the library had the potential to integrate the weak surroundings of the railway station and forge a new identity for the area – and its significance clearly expressed in ff-architekten’s design. The new annex is essentially a box tilted along two axes that has the effect of repositioning the railway building in its urban context. The striking facade design with its shimmering golden, imbricated surface accentuates the structure. The interior of the annex presents children and young people with a series of spaces shaped to match their needs.
Abstract volume – abstract skin
The concept of the facade aims to clad the rather abstract volume with an equally abstract skin. For this reason it was es-sential that the skin covers the volume in a homogenous and continuous way and highlights its geometry. But at the same time, the materiality should contrast strongly with the render of the existing building without questioning its significance. The external skin was realised with details to maximise the flatness of the surfaces and sharpness of building edges, so as not to diminish the geometry of the tilted volume. The copper skin is considered as an element that wraps continuously around the whole building - even the roof. The copper shingle construction gives each face of the building a different appearance. Glazing also forms a part of this continuous, flush skin with a largely hidden structure. The shimmering, golden copper alloy material adds gravitas to the new building and contrasts with the historic building stock, elevating the complex above its mundane urban context.
This article was published in 30/2011 issue of Copper Architecture Forum magazine.