Göttingen State and University Library
The Göttingen State and University Library is one of the largest libraries in Germany. Its new building is designed in an architectural form of "a hand", with "a palm" as the public area for programs like gathering, catering, and studios, and "five fingers" as the bright reading and learning area. It combines both traditional library needs and the evolving demands of the digital era while also integrating into the urban context, establishing a harmonious connection between the new and historical districts.
© Gerber Architekten
作为现代研究型图书馆理念的实践先驱，始建于1734年的SUB不仅成就了哥廷根大学，也赋予了这座城市学术之都的美誉。1993年，盖博建筑设计的SUB新馆建成开放，实现了图书馆的增容扩量，并推动了机构的现代化和数字化改革；2002年，SUB新馆荣获了德国图书馆的最高荣誉——年度图书馆大奖（Bibliothek des Jahres）
The Göttingen State and University Library (SUB), founded in 1734, is one of the largest and most important libraries in Germany, with about 9 million media units and over 5,500 visitors every day. It includes the Göttingen University Library, the Göttingen Academy of Sciences Library, and the Lower Saxony State Library (the 4th state library in Germany). Additionally, it serves as the headquarters of the German Common Library Network (GBV).
As a pioneer in modern research-oriented libraries, the SUB has contributed to the academic reputation of the University of Göttingen and the city. In 1993, the new SUB building, designed by Gerber Architekten, was completed and opened, achieving expansion and promoting the institution's digital upgrade. In 2002, the new SUB building received the Bibliothek des Jahres, the highest honor of German libraries.
新馆坐落于哥廷根北部新区（Nordstadt） ，北侧为大学的中央校区，南侧则紧邻历史城区（Innenstadt） ，因此这座建筑既需要成为大学的核心，也需要建立新老城区的对话。
The new SUB building is located in the new Nordstadt district of Göttingen, with the central campus on the north side and the historic Innestadt district on the south side. Therefore, the building was expected to become the university's core while fostering a dialogue between the old and new urban spaces.
In this context, the design creates an architectural form resembling as "a hand", with "a palm" and "five fingers" connecting the environment of the surroundings, integrating the experience of indoor and outdoor spaces, and organizing the programs in a modern way to meet the library's evolving and diverse future needs.
A Open HAND for the Campus
The architectural form of “a hand” not only symbolizes friendliness and openness, inviting the public, but also logically arises from the functional layout.
The “palm” on the north side, close to the campus, primarily serves as the library's entrance hall, housing public areas such as a cafeteria and studios. With its airy and spacious design, this section not only facilitates gatherings and efficient circulation but also plays a role as a focal point for library services, offering visitors an open and welcoming experience.
The 'fingers' on the south side, facing the inner city, primarily serve as reading and learning areas. They also slightly open, symbolically extending the building into a vast park landscape to the south.
With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, this section provides a bright and comfortable reading space that allows people to enjoy close-up views of natural green scenery and distant vistas of the historical district, seamlessly integrating the landscape into the ordinary experience of the library.
In terms of the materials in the façade, the white perforated metal plate on the north side represents scientific rationality, while the transparent glass on the south side represents the spirit of openness and freedom.
Additionally, the main entrance on the north side takes the form of an iconic cylinder, in contrast to the rectangular shape of the main building. As a prominent feature on the façade, this curved volume enhances the overall architectural aesthetics while creating an engaging entrance experience.
西侧 - 圆柱形入口
A Knowledge Hub for Future
A table, a chair, and a lamp are common imagination of a library scene, where "quietness" is the most important element. Retaining this key element, the design of new SUB building also incorporates richer and diversed consideration for a future library.
With the development of digital technology, the media of learning and research has also undergone changes. Therefore, in the library, the design continues the spatial layout of university buildings from the 1960s to 1970s, in response to the cultural characteristics of the campus; On the other hand, full consideration should be given to the combination of the new museum space and modern technology, taking into account its future development.
The main focus of the internal space design is to maximize accessibility to both book resources and digital resources. Therefore, there are not only traditional reading areas but also spaces for digital research, including a resource center and a software center. Additionally, there are both bright and open public study areas and private desks hidden among bookshelves, providing a variety of functional spaces to meet individual and group needs.
The efficient organization of these spaces highlights the social responsibility of the SUB as a library. It is not limited to serving only academics and researchers but is open to every citizen as a hub for the accumulation, inheritance, and production of knowledge.
Göttingen State and University Library
Client: The Lower Saxony state government
Service Scope: Architecture
Design: 1985 (1st prize in Competition)
GFA: 47,059 sqm