Diocesan Library
Gebäudeausschnitt mit Kapelle
Treppe in der Bibliothek

Diocesan Library

LocationÜberwasserkirchplatz 2, D-48143 Münster
ClientRoman Catholic Diocese of Münster, represented by the Episcopal Vicariate
Building period2003–2005
VolumeGFA 14.300m²
ProcedureCompetition 2002, 1st price

The Diocesan Library next to Überwasser Church in the Westphalian town of Munster, with its inventory of valuable historical manuscripts, 700,000 volumes and 680 newspapers, is one of the largest theological libraries in Germany. In Munster it was important to contribute new elements to the nucleus of the city. The new volumes – the library and two administrative buildings – deliberately turn their back on the urban building lines and align themselves to the existing figure of the seminary and the Überwasser Church. A new whole emerges which, as a place of the church with its own independent urbanistic orientation, steps out of the urban pattern. It is an ensemble that is a city en miniature. These additions to the already existing form new urban spaces - a courtyard, a garden, an alleyway and a cloister. The city can be read as a system of the simplest principles and elements. In a concise area of tension, the modern comes together with the historical to create a new entity.