Albertslund City Library




In connection with the renovation of Albertslund Public Library, a totally new building volume replaced the existing first floor and the old library. The old library had a flat roof and relatively small windows whereas the new library is designed as one large, open and bright space. The continuous overhead light in the characteristic serrated roof ensures dispersion of daylight into the entire building.

The children’s section is situated in a protruding part of the south facade with a view to the tall trees in the garden and a long terrace facing Nordmarks Allé. The reading room with journals and newspapers faces the town hall lake to the north through large glass panels.

The new library furniture of anthracite linoleum and steel forms an elegant contrast to the white walls and acoustic ceilings. The floors have a warm orange-red colour. The bookcases are specially designed and feature light fittings built into the shelf markers. The exterior of the library is clad in dark tombac. A number of sustainable solutions have been installed, including natural ventilation with intakes along the facades of the building and outlets through large opening overhead lights.

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Bibliotekstorvet 2, Albertslund, Denmark
Client: Municipality of Albertslund
Gross floor area: 3,000 m2
Year of construction: 2002 - 2004
Type of assignment: First prize in invited competition
Collaborators: Cowi and Esbensen



The library is designed as an Integrated Energy Design (IED) project, where energy efficient solutions have been part of the design and construction process from the very beginning.
The library has been a development project in relation to the use of natural/hybrid ventilation and control of daylight. The continuous overhead light in the characteristic serrated roof ensures dispersion of daylight into the entire deep volume. Daylight meets approx. 60 % of the need for light during the opening hours of the library. The deep window bars constitute a blind that shields against the hot, direct radiation angles.

The natural ventilation with intakes along the facades and outlets through opening overhead lights are also designed for smoke and heat ventilation. Mechanical ventilation takes over on days with high temperatures.

The children's library is situated towards the south and at a lower level than the rest of the library, which means that it functions as a shielding for the large library space. The large reading room is situated towards the north where the need for shielding is smaller.


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From book depot to cultural meeting place

From book depot to cultural meeting place

The old public library in Albertslund was built in 1973 as a characteristic building from the 70's with small windows, flat roof and exposed technical installations. After several years of wear and tear, a leaking roof, insufficient insulation and an obsolete ventilation system, a thorough renovation was necessary. In practice, this has meant that an entirely new building has been built on the base of the old one.

The extensive renovation made it possible to rethink the layout of the library. The bookcases were replaced so that the books were no longer placed in endless rows but in bookcases relative to human scale. Now, it is possible to see the top shelves and keep a sense of perspective.

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The children's library has also had more space and light. New pillow lounges have made the experience of borrowing a book more complete; it has become possible to stay in the world of books for a while and thereby becoming familiar with and hopefully experiencing joy by being in a world of wisdom. 

Proces & Collaboration

Proces & Collaboration

The process of renovating Albertslund Public Library has been characterised by a common vision shared by the municipality and consultants, which means that the aesthetic and functional ambitions have been in focus together with the wish for energy efficient design.

The project can be said to be one of the first IED cooperation projects in Denmark. The engineering company Esbensen and Henning Larsen Architects together incorporated design elements for natural, hybrid ventilation and control of daylight.

The architects from Henning Larsen Architects were Lars Steffensen, Rasmus Pedersen, Frants Drewniak, Claus Simonsen and Margrete Grøn.


  • Bibliotekstorvet 2, Albertslund, Denmark


Lead Design Architect, Learning, Architect MAA
Phone: +45 8233 3057
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The extensive renovation provided us with the opportunity to rethink the layout and use of the entire library.