Nominees 2022

Public Library of the year


    • Missoula Public Library (US)
    • Gellerup Library (DK)
    • Ogre Central Library (Latvia)
    • Ithra Library (Saudi Arabia)

    Missoula Public Library (US)

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    Missoula Public Library (US)

    Located in downtown Missoula, Missoula Public Library comes across as a central hub for lifelong learning and community engagement. The new climate-focused library takes its surroundings and striking nature right into the building, which is built to reflect an alpine climb.

    Ergonomic stone-shaped seats on the ground floor form the riverbed, and the pink geometry in the carpet one floor up hints at the bitterroot flowers in a meadow. The top floor opens to an outdoor patio with views of Mount Sentinel and the skyline. The interior main stair traverses’ floors and supports serendipitous opportunities to view and engage in activities on each floor.

    The library seems to envision a lively community living room that brings together a wide range of public and private entities to offer its users various educational, technology, resource, entertainment, and archival amenities.

    Gellerup Library (DK)

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    Gellerup Library (DK)

    Gellerup Library is located in a challenged part of Aarhus and appears as a multifunctional, modern, and elegant new library. In contrast to the surrounding orthogonal city structure, it expresses a playful and inviting atmosphere, opening to all sides, and connecting the main street with the urban park in the neighborhood center.

    Inside, the programming of the individual functions is gathered with overlapping spaces for social interaction. From the main entrance to the smallest playroom, it all connects in an open, linked space with no dividing walls.

    The library is developed with an overall consideration for environmental, social, and economic sustainability as well as with a focus on working environment, function, and aesthetics. During construction the project employed local unemployed youth at the construction site, which has secured jobs for several of the young people involved afterwards.

    Ogre Central Library (Latvia)

    Ogre Library Check it out

    Ogre Central Library (Latvia)

    The Ogre Central Library stands out as a beautiful and very welcoming building. By using a lot of wood in both the exterior and interior, the building brings a warm feeling to its community and is sustainable at the same time. Ogre Central Library seems to be designed to feel not as much as an institution, but more like an open public space for the community and visitors to meet, learn, and relax.

    The building houses a library with different reading and working rooms, a vast children’s library, a separate youth library, a spacious conference hall with a terrace and children’s room, a cozy summer café building for library outdoor activities, and even a Civil Registry Office with marriage ceremony hall. Pitched roof structures help to spatially define these separate functions.

    A special element in the building is the second-story windows. They are designed as large plywood sitting boxes with insertable upholstery, dimmable light, and a semi-transparent curtain. Visitors can close the curtains and create their own comfortable reading cabin with a view of the forest.

    Ithra Library (Saudi Arabia)

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    Ithra Library (Saudi Arabia)

    It’s impossible not to be awestruck by the impressive monolith that towers over the Ring Road in Dhahran. The design references the geology of the Kingdom, using an assortment of "rocks," the different sizes symbolize diversity and are grouped to show solidarity. The stunning architecture has a definite wow-factor and is designed by Oslo-based company Snøhetta.

    The building contains diverse cultural facilities including a museum, library, cinema, theater, children’s museum, innovation lab, education center, production studio, restaurants, and both indoor and outdoor spaces for festivals, exhibitions, conferences, and performances.

    By creating a building that is 80% underground, the designers help to insulate the building and reduce energy usage. The library was partially opened (1st floor) in 2018, with completion and full operation in 2021 and is marked with modern technologies and inspiring designs spread over four levels with a total area of more than 6,000 square meters.