Torshov Library

Transforming Oslo’s oldest library into a bright, open workspace driven by quality dialogue and community ownership.

Built 2019 Concept Developer and Lead Architect

Oslo’s oldest library has reopened to the public with a renewed usage model. The space, built in collaboration with Art Army, aims to create an open workspace with extended opening hours to act as a key component in enabling more local initiatives and strengthing community ownership in the area. Torshov library is one of the most active libraries in Oslo with cardholders having access nearly all hours of the day.

Clearly, it resonates with city council’s vision for quality public discourse. Abdullah Alsabeehg, Oslo City Council Secretary.

Doyo Group, as the principle architect, pursued a design strategy to facilitate growth and financing as a public workplace, even after the opening. By analysing and consolidating a new library business model we gained a sound basis for developing a cost effective transformation allowing flexibility to expand into future initiatives more easily.

One of the most meaningful library transformations in Oslo. Knut Skansen, Director of Deichman.

We believe a library should serve as a cultural infrastructure framework to enable quality discourse and more opportunities to rapidly test and implement local initiative. In essence, our vision is to strenghten motivation to learn, participate and contribute. Through ease of contribution we can grow communal ownership and directly improve the cultural qualities of our cities.

By creating a bright, informal atmosphere without the pressure and expectations of other venues, we can directly boost peoples own motivation to relax, work, chat, hang out, host talks and meet new people.

Our incredible clients, Stian Færden Kristensen, the department director, Heidi Grytten, project leader for Deichman, and Thomas Veidal, project leader for OBOS, went out of their way to let us push Stian’s already great vision to expand the platforms reach, even beyond current maker space trends.

We are thrilled to see how much joy the space continues to provide, even after the opening. The positive feedback we continue to receive from neighbourhood groups and individuals is particularly heart warming, thank you!

Collaborators

Claude Wittwen, co-designer, Art Army. Stian Færden Kristensen, library department director. Heidi Grytten, Deichman project leader. Thomas Veidal, OBOS project leader. Lars Klemmensen, artist and craftsman. Antonie Grobler, craftsman and carpenter. Jonas Aabrandt, carpenter.