St. Gallen Library
A new library is being created on an open space on the market square at the entrance to the old town. In the midst of a complex, heterogeneous mixture of different existing buildings and traffic routes, our project rises as a new urban element above the roofscape of the surrounding structures. A new presence in the cityscape and at the same time a familiar form. The new library appears quite different from various angles and distances, and evokes images of a large tent, textile spans or a market hall, perhaps even a temple or a small cathedral. The House of Literature concentrates and reflects on itself and thus becomes strong. Despite its height, it does not compete with neighbouring buildings. Instead, lowered roof sections mediate with the surroundings. Various themes develop out of the form and structure of the existing Union building in the direction of the marketplace: parallel structural layers abstractly quote analogies of bound open book pages, of books strung together with curved book edges. The open ground floor of the existing building with solid columns is continued and transitioned into a base zone with arched openings. The arcades make the building approachable and inviting. Above this, slat elements on the upper floors are reminiscent of parallel layered book pages and form a vertical translucent structure. The solitary and archaic form of the house outwardly communicates the special content. The vertical division of the facades is classical – base, middle section and roof crown – and is a reflection of the internal organization. The curved facade surfaces develop a rhythm and allow the volume to sit harmoniously in its context.
Design Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Tobias Schnell (PL), Doreen Brinker, Lukas Vögel mit Conzett Bronzini Partner AG Chur, Meierhans+Partner AG Schwerzenbach, IBG Engineering AG Winterthur, Studer Strauss AG St. Gallen, Baubüro Hollenstein GmbH Zuzwil, Martin Stocker Modelmaking Hohenems.
Visualisations: sonaar Innsbruck
Client: Kanton St. Gallen