Grünerløkka Library

An inclusive meeting spot

Where to hang out in Oslos trendiest district Grünerløkka you might ask? Why not at the library is our answer. This is Norway’s oldest library building, old but good, now renovated to suit today’s inhabitants of Grünerløkka.

Tradition is based on the people; the citizens of Grünerløkka were therefore a core component of the new library concept. A new colorful kids area combining imagination and experience with the «interior of a Victorian sci-fi melting pot». This is a place to meet, exchange ideas, build, repair and grow… either by reading books or planting seeds.

The revised version of the library was to be a toolbox for localism and serve as multifunctional space. To do so, it underwent a complete renovation to become a neighbourhood cultural hub: Deichman Grünerløkka Library.

“The goal was a balance between the original and revised version; it was time to rethink tradition.” —Aat Vos, Creative Guide

With Aat Vos concept as a base, we set out to focus on the details. Grünerløkka library is the oldest library in Norway, and a significant source of inspiration was the historic Carnegie Librarie. But the interior has a reference to early art deco style, like the lines from ships, trains and engineering. The main workstation that serves as core in the middle of the building is a clear example of this. The colouration on walls and pillars was taken from Edwardian colour pallets. To enjoy a good read, you need a comfortable seat, and in this and many other projects, we also curate and purchase all furniture for the client.

In the kid’s room on the first-floor play was important, but also staying true to the interior space. Therefore we introduced organic form into the construction inspired by the art nouveau and early art deco-style.

«The clients brief was to be inspired by nature. We focused in on organic cell formations. This became the general inspiration for the internal structure. After designing the internal structure, we focused on the colour scheme. We contacted the Swedish artist, Emma Lindström, whos series of art work fitted exactly into the organic cell formation of the room. We were inspired by the mosaic of colour in her work.»

This is the 3rd library we have created in co-creation with Aat Vos. Artisan Tech has been in charge of production design and development, Aat Vos design concept and direction and Håndverkskompaniet was the main contractor. Together we form a symbiosis of creative minds and craftsmen.

Like the previous libraries we have done, Grünerløkka Library has become a house that invites locals to use its tools to engage with their community in this welcoming third space. Open 24/7 for everyone to use.

Project Information