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Stunning Open Air Library in East Germany Wins the 2011 Brit Insurance Architecture Award
Posted By Mike Chino On February 28, 2011 @ 6:59 pm In Architecture,Recycled Materials,social design,Sustainable Building,Urban design | 3 Comments
What began as an assemblage of 1,000 empty beer cartons pulled together by residents in East Germany has now evolved into an incredible open air public library. Designed by Karo Architekten  in collaboration with local residents, the grassroots project revitalizes a post-industrial district in Magdeburg, Germany by creating a cultural center and pop-up library  where books are free to take and leave 24 hours a day. The project introduces plenty of green space and reuses the facade of an old warehouse  to beautiful effect. Opened two summers ago, we’re pleased to announce that the library has won Brit Insurance’s Architecture Award in their annual Design of the Year  competition!
Libraries and book lending are a great green practices insofar as they encourage the use of shared resources and cut down on crates of pressed tree pulp  circulating the globe. They’re even better when they foster a communal spirit of sharing, as does Magdeburg’s new Open Air Library.
The library was built from the ground up with the support and interaction of the surrounding community – first as a 1:1 model made from beer cartons and later as a finished project with the help of Karo Architekten , who incorporated parts of the facade from the city of Hamm’s demolished Horten warehouse. During its entire planning and construction period the library accepted book donations, which are now available to borrow any time of day without a membership – simply walk up to a cubby and pull out a tome.
In addition to its book lending facilities the Open Air Library  also introduces a burst of green public space to a post-industrial district. The grassy plaza features a reading cafe and a stage that hosts elementary school theater plays, public readings, concerts, and other cultural events.
Photos by Anja Schlamann 
Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/stunning-open-air-library-pops-up-in-east-germany/
URLs in this post:
 Karo Architekten: http://karo-architekten.de/
 pop-up library: http://www.inhabitat.com/2006/04/19/lo-teks-recycled-airplane-library/
 old warehouse: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/15/industrial-buildings-undergo-a-sustainable-makeover/
 Design of the Year: http://www.designsoftheyear.com/
 pressed tree pulp: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/08/30/the-secret-life-of-paper/
 Open Air Library: http://www.archdaily.com/39417/open-air-library-karo-architekten/
 Anja Schlamann: http://www.schlamann.com/
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