German Architect Wins Asplund Redesign Rights

20 November 2007 (Last Updated November 20th, 2007 11:21)

German architect Heike Hanada, a teacher at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, has beaten five other finalists from across the EU to take on the expansion of the Stockholm Public Library, originally designed by Erik Gunnar Asplund. Submissions were received from more than 6,000 architect

German architect Heike Hanada, a teacher at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, has beaten five other finalists from across the EU to take on the expansion of the Stockholm Public Library, originally designed by Erik Gunnar Asplund.

Submissions were received from more than 6,000 architects worldwide to expand the library as part of the Delphinium project.

The jury said they chose Hanada’s Delphinium for its unique quality in which distinct starting points sit defined in their own form, while fitting in with the surrounding townscape.

"Delphinium is a cleverly designed proposal, sensitive, clear and with the quality of a new icon," the jury says.

"In its self-evident position and simplicity, it stands out as a good response to how a new distinguished building can be created in our time."

The project was also chosen for its similarities to Asplund's architecture, though the jury says it in no way mimics this.

"It's idiom is clearly related to Asplund’s own language of design in the form of clear and simple geometric shapes and subtle details," the jury says.

"The solemn, dark reserve of the Asplund building is contrasted by a light openness, but with the same attention to detail and with playful references to the rotunda's form in the courtyard and the rounded interiors."

The project features a glass building which connects to Asplund’s library using a structure enclosing an 'elegant' circular garden space.

Hanada is known for designing a building that opens and closes itself with interlinking rooms.

The design allows for the new emphasis on outdoor space to be carried throughout the building’s glass walls while its exterior reflects the surrounding hill and landscape.

By Penny Jones