8 Of The Loveliest And Prettiest Libraries In Scandinavia

Katherine Notman Katherine Notman - Staff Writer

8 Of The Loveliest And Prettiest Libraries In Scandinavia

The Scandi aesthetic works perfectly in these amazing libraries.

Scandinavia has its own unique aesthetic, known the world over for the bright and airy atmosphere created by clean lines and flawless functionality.  This minimalism allows the books in these beautiful libraries to feature as the focal point. After all, the literature the whole point of the building. Although some do consider Iceland and Greenland to be a part of Scandinavia, all of the following libraries are in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. These countries traditionally make up the Scandinavian Peninsula and have more than their fair share of aesthetically pleasing libraries.

1. Dokk1, Denmark

Measuring 323,000 square feet, Dokk1 is the biggest library in Scandinavia and it’s certainly one of the most beautiful too. The beautiful, sleek design draws the eye and the amazing playground entertains, whilst inside there’s a wealth of reading spaces and a huge collection of books to immerse yourself in. For a library, the outside playground is incredibly extensive. It is comprised of four sections, each representing a different part of the world. The African quarter contains hieroglyphs and a mini jungle and the Asian/Eastern European quarter features a dragon, plus a 20ft bear. White platforms on springs represent the Arctic and an erupting volcano with a wooden eagle represents the Americas.

2. The Black Diamond, Denmark

The Black Diamond is truly an amazing building, and it’s the home of Søren Kierkegaard’s manuscripts, which makes it even more remarkable. The black granite cladding on the outside of The Black Diamond gives the building its name, and it is actually an extension of the old Royal Danish Library. Huge windows give visitors an amazing view of the water from within the library and the reflective cladding helps to mirror the beautiful water outside. It melts into the landscape, despite having such a stunning and unusual structure.

3. Stockholm State Library, Sweden

Stockholm State Library has an impressive collection of literature but that’s not the only impressive aspect of this building. It was designed by world-renowned architect, Gunnar Asplund, and the textured ceiling is meant to look like clouds. The library’s iconic design has even inspired the design of Arnos Grove tube station in London, which has a rectangular base beneath a cylindrical structure, just like Stockholm State Library.

4. Uppsala University Library, Sweden

Uppsala University Library has to be one of the oldest libraries in Sweden, dating back to 1620. The institution has 11 libraries and these make up the Uppsala University Library but by far the best known of the 11 buildings is the Carolina Rediviva.


5. Malmö City Library, Sweden

When Malmö City Library first opened, in 1905, it was located within a hotel. Now three stunning buildings comprise the library and they all have amazing views of the gardens outside. The most famous building of the three is called The Calendar Of Light, and a full-length window runs along the walls, from the floor right up to the ceiling. In winter, the building looks amazing. Lit from within, the building glows on cold winter nights.


6. Vennesla Library, Norway

There is no other building quite like Vennesla Library. The mixture of straight and curved lines creates an iconic, yet comfortable design and the lighting works perfectly, curving to fit the design of the building. Vennesla Library was only completed in 2011 and yet it has already won several prizes for its design. The ribbed effect of the ceiling is supposed to look like whale bones, which is obviously very Scandi!

7. The New Deichman Library, Norway

The New Deichman Library is one of the newest buildings on this list. It is Oslo’s new, main library and it also contains a movie theatre. There’s even a place in the library to play games, and many of the libraries in Scandinavia have now started lending out games to visitors as well as books and DVDs. In a country where winter days can be very short, this is another library that glows from the inside out, welcoming visitors in from the freezing winter weather.

8. Oodi Helsinki, Finland

The Helsinki Central Library, also known as the Oodi, isn’t actually Helsinki’s main public library. However, it is hands down the most iconic library in Finland. A large part of the library’s space is given over to meeting spaces and areas for people to socialize but there are specially designed robots which transport books around the library. Everything is very sleek and designed to fit seamlessly together.

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