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Cottbus Technical University Library

Cottbus, Germany
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The University Library designed by Herzog & de Meuron was built in the city of Cottbus, Brandenburg state, Germany, in the eastern part of the BTU campus between the University and the city.

From the time of the reunification of Germany, the university city of Cottbus, belonging to the state of Brandenburg, has lost nearly 20% of its population, like many other cities in the east.

Among carriers of hope within the region is the Brandenburgische Technische Universitat (BTU), Technical University of Brandenburg, north of the city center, right next to the educational buildings built in GDR times. In this place stood, in 2004, the spectacular building with a height of about 32 m, located on a small hill and designed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron, which serves as a library and information center university , offering a stark contrast to their surroundings.


The amoeboid form denies entry easy reading. Located on an artificial hill, the library seems impenetrable fortress. However, the milky white facade is mixed with clouds. The building occupies an ambiguous terrain between monumentality and invisibility. Dispensing with certain areas of land in the floors above the lobby and administrative area, or each part of the building, gave considerable freedom in designing spatial sequences within the building.

The 7-storey building, with a height of 27.37m above grade, and two basement has a total area of 16.145m2 and stands on a footprint of 1500m2. Public use space is 7,630 m2, 976m2 dedicated to the administration and to 1.193m2 closed shelves.

Externally, the library appears as a curved glass building with no edges or corners, resembling a giant amoeba designs. Unusual shape without front or rear and four protrusions of different sizes.

The glass library building is located opposite the main entrance of campus. From this point of view, the library appears as an impressive body anchored in the park. As one approaches the building from the city center or from the north, it looks completely different, more slender, almost like a separate tower. In fact, the building looks different from all avenues of focus, however, is still one continuous, flowing as a whole. Although it appears to be organic and explicitly self-referential, its design is also derived from the expressed will provide the site a distinctive new survey quality within its urban context.

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ibex73, January 1st, 2016
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