The Black Diamont - Copenaghen
Schmidt, Hammer, Lassen.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects,

Copenhagen, Denmark,



It's called the "black diamond", but it's not a tiny, rare gemstone; it's a big building, a place of culture and entertainment, that has doubled the size and the capacity of the Copenhagen Royal Library.
A rarefied yet tranquil atmosphere makes the structure, which opened in September 1999, one of the most interesting buildings in the Danish capital.

The Black Diamont - Copenaghen<br> Schmidt, Hammer, Lassen. Seen from above, the imposing hall offers an impressive view, in which the motion of the reading rooms with their sinuous balconies seems to play with the linearity of the walkways crossing from one floor to another.
From the Black Diamond's entrance, escalators take visitors to an overhead platform, Christians Brygge, where they can request books to take out.
The ceiling is decorated with a fresco by Danish artist Per Kirkeby. A big terra cotta portal marks the entrance to the old wing of the library, leading into a gallery opening up onto the reading rooms.
The historical part of the building has been converted into an exhibition area, and the old reading room has been fitted out to house international publications. The expansion, which cost 59 million euros, doubled the floor space available in the library, from 20,000 to 40,000 square metres.

Laura Della Badia

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