3rd Prize for the Service Building of the Herzog August Library
„Zentrum Altes Buch“ in Wolfenbüttel

Our design has won third prize in the implementation competition for the well-known library district in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

Two existing buildings are to be connected to the “Zentrum Altes Buch” (Old Book Center) via a new service building with a net floor space of around 1,500 square meters. The buildings involved are the listed main building of the Herzog August Library – one of the oldest intact libraries in the world – and the stacks located opposite. The subtle architecture of caspar.’s design reinforces the location’s identity.

Set on a plinth, the service building is linked to the existing buildings via two slender steel-and-glass bridges. Its natural stone facade references the existing construction and also incorporates and reinterprets the clear structure of the Bibliotheca Augusta facades in framed fields. Bush-hammered natural stone surfaces on the corners and at the roof termination form a contrast to the smooth sandstone of the grid. At the center of the building is an atrium around which the various functional areas are grouped. On the third floor, northern light domes ensure optimal lighting. Additional windows effectively frame outward views. All entrances to the building are accessible to people with disabilities.

The design achieves a resource-saving shell thanks to the addition of blast furnace slag cement with low carbon emissions and a large proportion of recycled concrete. A sustainable energy concept was developed to meet the high demand for climate stability in the rooms.

The jury praised the building’s “quality of lightness” created by the irregular glass and sandstone  panels in the facade grid and the understated design. Although the volume is visible, it allows attention to be properly focused on the Bibliotheca Augusta.

Awarding authority: Staatliches Baumanagement Braunschweig in close cooperation with the user Herzog August Library
Load-bearing structure: Werner Sobek Ingenieure
Building services: M&P Braunschweig
Fire protection consultants: hhpberlin

Visualization: © caspar./moka-studio