Images Copyright: © Jeroen Musch

Book Mountain Spijkenisse

CategoryCultural, Education, Interior
TeamSybren Boomsma, Anton Wubben, Marin Kulas, Ole Schröder, Kai Kanafani, Stefan de Koning, Fokke Moerel, Jeroen Zuidgeest, Bart Spee, Anet Schurink, Marc Joubert, Nathalie de Vries, Jacob van Rijs, Winy Maas
LocationSpijkenisse, Rotterdam, Netherlands
AwardDesign Competition, 2003, 1st prize
DescriptionThe new public library with a surface of 10,000 m² will be located in the inner city of Spijkenisse, at the corner of a major throughway, the central market square and the church opposite. In addition to the book collection and reading areas, the library will accommodate commercial facilities, offices, an auditorium, conference rooms, and exhibition spaces. The exterior of the building refers to a traditional Dutch barn style typology, in shape and choice of material; as a memento to the agricultural history of Spijkenisse Village, now a suburban area of Rotterdam with statistically a low average of readers.

The library is designed to advertise reading. By stacking facilities such as offices, meeting rooms and auditorium vertically, terraces of different sizes emerge upon which the book shelves are positioned creating a grand book mountain. The terraces are linked by staircases to form a route that curves around the mountain to the top, where a panoramic view of Spijkenisse awaits.

The book mountain is covered by a glass shell, creating a bell jar, an open-air library. The bell jar is a simple membrane, an almost invisible envelope that softens the edges of the building. The bell jar is also a climate-controlled public space. Solar protection (as used in greenhouses), natural ventilation and an underground heat storage system provide for comfortable conditions all year round. The climate system is a carefully balanced collection of sustainable features which together form an innovative new, highly sustainable system. Underneath the transparent bell jar, the library faces the streets on all sides, which enhances the safety of the public space around the building.

The climate system was developed in close collaboration with Arcadis Engineers and was last year nominated for De Vernufteling award, declaring the library an inventive and resourceful project with social and economical importance.

The new public library is part of a greater scheme for the inner city of Spijkenisse. In order to strengthen and densify the inner city, MVRDV has proposed a series of apartment buildings which reflect the local typology though on a larger scale. The entire new complex including the public spaces will be clad in brick. The result is an extension of the existing pattern and enhancement of the local identity.
ClientMunicipality of Spijkenisse, Netherlands
Start date2012
Area Units.q.m.
Developed by

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