Contrasting yet harmonious building

The opening of Tingbjerg Library/Cultural Centre establishes a bold new focal point for the Tingbjerg neighbourhood in north-west Copenhagen. A simple architectural design bids you inside; on entering the library and cultural centre, it opens up, and you immediately sense the place as a warm and secure environment.

Troldtekt Tingbjerg Library Culture House
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

Tingbjerg was built as a housing project in the 1950s, and today the entire area is listed. In addition to the beautiful yellow-brick blocks of flats, the school and local shops are also covered by the plan. On this basis, COBE Architects focused on designing a building that matches its surroundings in terms of both materials and scale, yet one with an independent personality.

The building is connected to the school via the entrance, but from this point extends sideways and upwards towards the street facade, where large windows both literally and metaphorically shed light on the activities taking place on all floors. COBE’s holistic ideas about the building mean that it needs to be experienced as an integrated shell, from both the outside and inside. There is therefore a high degree of consistency between the materials and the overall look. 

Wood on black

On stepping into the library/cultural centre, you immediately get a sense of the entire building. And appreciate the strong feeling of coherence. You can sense all that is happening on each level, and it tickles your curiosity, so that you want to explore. The aim of creating a communal space and cultural hub has been successfully realised. Of course, being in a large room while being able to immerse yourself in a book or creative project requires good acoustics.

Therefore, all horizontal ceilings are clad with Troldtekt acoustic panels in the colour natural wood, with the exception of the main hall, which has a beautiful wood strip finish. The wooden strips on the large sloping ceiling and the walls are installed on top of black Troldtekt panels, a combination which ensures very effective sound dampening.

Wood is a recurring material inside the library/cultural centre, and ensures peace and quiet in a busy building while giving it a textural look that matches the Troldtekt acoustic panels and concrete floors. The contrast between the wood and the black Troldtekt ceilings reflects the contrasts in the facade.