andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university

andreas schüring architekten has completed the library for cologne university in germany with a design that focuses on the theme of ‘order and freedom’. covering an area 7535 ft2 (700 m2) and catering for around 2500 students, the bright, open and inviting space forms part of a new flagship building of the educational institution.

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

all images © andreas schüring architekten

the new library of the university of applied sciences for public administration in cologne-deutz achieves a high degree of adaptability and varying levels of transparency through the interweaving of highly transparent ‘learning cubes’ and light acoustic curtains that can be adjusted as required. the design by andreas schüring functions as a complex structured one-room under an apparently limitless, all-connecting light ceiling.

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

the transitions between the lounge area of the entrance, the administrative counter, the communicative learning landscape in the center, the work counter along the inner courtyard and the study carrels surrounded by books on three sides are fluid and overlapping. various straight and curved acoustic curtains, based on the ‘café velvet and silk’ designed by mies van der rohe and lilly reich in 1927, allow the learning landscape to be easily modulated and, if necessary, also zoned during the semester: in the beginning of the semester open spaces dominate, but during the busy examination phase the curtains offer alternating retreats for different learning groups.

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

the theme of a merging grid, as found, for example, in piet mondrians paintings, is translated into the third dimension by shelves and the ceiling. the openly woven structure of the grid ceiling made of high-quality anodized aluminum, with a level above the ceiling of a network of the necessary but almost invisible house technology, picks up on this design theme and, together with the lighting, generates a wide variety of reflections. within the semi-transparent glass study carrels this game of sightlines and outlooks, reflections in the glass and the gridded shelves is continued in more introverted areas.

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

in this way, the library not only manages to realize all functional requirements in an atmospheric manner, but also, with the concept of freedom and order, to represent the teaching content of the university, which primarily trains police officers and administrators. ‘the library is the jewel of the new building,’ says site manager holger nimtz

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university designboom

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university

andreas schuring designs a monochromatic library for cologne university

project info:

project type: library 

location: erna-scheffler-straße 4, 51103 cologne, germany

client: land nordrhein-westfalen

design, practical planning and project management: heinle, wischer und partner, stuttgart/cologne

architect: andreas schüring architekten BDA

design team: andreas schüring, in collaboration with jan jonas kunz

photography: andreas schüring architekten BDA

completion: 2019

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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