Peter W. Schmidt

District Library Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg - Berlin - Germany

For years, the GDR school building stood vacant. Following extensive remodeling, it is now used as the central library of the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.
The redesign includes an outer “makeover” as well as a new interior for its use as a library.
The former Plattenbau (type SK 66 Berlin, built around 1966), was covered by the architect with a façade made from cedar wood slats.
The building’s exterior was once characterized by ribbon windows and visible seams between the façade panels typical of its era; following the redesign it now stands unique and nearly monolithic through its lamellar structure.
A wooden frame construction was mounted onto the original elevation with a black covered insulating layer onto which the story-high, prefabricated slats were affixed. Their dark wood links the building to its green surroundings inside a block courtyard along Frankfurter Allee and underlines its special status.
Floor to ceiling “showcase windows” break the façade, allowing views of the bookshelves - ceilings and floors were changed and partly removed to accommodate them.
The architects have created a remarkably open, spacious library, in whose new face the original’s main features still find expression.





Architecture as Resource / Imprint