Skien municipality has been planning work for a new library combined with an Ibsen dissemination centre and an expanded service centre for local residents. The project went out to competition.
The establishment of the Ibsen Library is intended to lead to increased social involvement and democratic participation in the region. It aims to provide a visitor attraction for local people as well as visitors from the region, other parts of Norway and abroad.
“Libraries have reinvented their role in society in recent years, and are proving to be an arena and institution instrumental in boosting opportunities and breaking down barriers between people,” says the official website for the Skien municipality. “They are one of the most important institutions in our society with a role in integration.”
The ambition is for several services and functions to be co-located and integrated:
- Henrik Ibsen dissemination centre
- Local residents’ services (expanded service centre), and individual advisory services provided by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration
- Tourist information and visitor centre
- Facilities for voluntary groups and associations
The curvilinear footprint of the new library is carefully drawn around the existing trees, along the perimeter of the park in which it is situated, in an embracing configuration to create seamless indoor and outdoor spaces.