Neue Bibliothek
Grundriss EG

Neue Bibliothek

LocationCH-9000 St. Gallen
ClientKanton St. Gallen Hochbauamt
ProcedureCompetition 2021, 5th prize

In central St Gallen, west of the market square, a new public library is being created in a former office building. The extension of the landmark building dates back to the 1950s. The contemporary addition ensures an architectural constellation that connects old and new. The pre-existing staggered height elements are sustained – in this way the new ensemble creates a bridge to the small-scale building structures south of the square. The positioning of the cubic building creates an intimate courtyard. Aside from one point of contact to ensure the spatial sequences of the interior, the pre-existing building remains untouched.

With the aim of emphasising the urban spatial sequences consisting of pathways, streets and squares, the central entrance of the new library is moved to a sunken position. The slight slope of the site means that visitors can be guided into the building from below, thus freeing up space for the creation of the “Platz der Literatur” above. The new build serves as an open entry pavilion for this half-storey staggered orientation level, which is inset into the grounds. Above the orientation level the ground floor opens up as a foyer to the market as well as to the lively passageways around the new courtyard.