Part of the charm of adaptive reuse is the new, sometimes unexpected purpose given to the reclaimed building. That’s the case in this transformation of an old Fritz Hansen furniture factory into an elegant library and community center in Allerød, Denmark. Designed by Copenhagen studio Primus Arkitekter, the project preserves the building’s industrial aesthetic, while introducing more contemporary elements like rooftop solar panels and integrated outdoor lighting that create a mosaic-like pattern of light and shadow.
Primus Arkitekter expanded the footprint of the former factory to connect it with the main library located in the neighboring brick building. The side of the building closest to the main library now houses a new children’s library, whereas the other half of the building serves as the community center. The community center comprises a multipurpose hall, and a flexible theater and event space that can be expanded or subdivided with the use of folding wooden partitions. The adjoining elevator tower contains additional community center spaces and offices for the library.
Lapped black wooden panels clad the library’s exterior for a textured effect that references the building’s industrial heritage and emphasizes the sharp angles of the sawtooth roof. Unlike the dark facade, all the interior walls are painted white to reflect the natural light that pour through the angled skylights. The white surfaces and tall sloping ceilings create a sense of spaciousness in the open-plan library and community center.
“The extension houses the children’s library and we wanted to give them a sense of spatial generosity and abundance of natural light that could support these and future functions in a flexible building,” architect David Bülow-Jacobsen said to Dezeen. “Thus we chose to make the floor plan very open and rational, while the roof section subdivides the space with varying ceiling heights.”