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Projects

Iconic. Inside and out

OBA Van der Pek

The Amsterdam van der Pek neighborhood is home to a small, iconic building that has transitioned from a butcher shop with apartments to a supermarket, and finally to a library that inspires the area’s residents. How could such an adorable public library branch manage to claim its stake for significance in the area?

Client
Openbare Bibliotheken Amsterdam

Location
Amsterdam, NL

Partners
MARS Interieurarchitecten

Size
300 m2

Status
Realized

Approach
Imagine
Navigate
Position
Artify
Construct

Discipline
Interior
Participation

Typology
Cafe
Government/Civic
Library
Lounge
Mixed Use

Partners
MARS Interieurarchitecten

why

Creating a library to enjoy

As one of the many remodeling projects of the Openbare Bibliotheken Amsterdam (OBA, Public Libraries of Amsterdam), a new library was introduced at the Mosveld shopping center, in the Van der Pek neighborhood of North Amsterdam. This building embarked on a transition to a public space that focused on inclusion. The aim was to create a library where people enjoy spending their time, one that invites neighbors to meet each other and patrons to exchange knowledge and learn from one another; the library strives to be a third place for all.

"This idea of inclusion was best implemented by bringing value to the building, and pride to the people."

Aat Vos
includi
how

Effective use of limited space

The desire for inclusion was best implemented by bringing value to the building and pride to the people. The library is situated in an iconic structure constructed in the “Amsterdamse School” style, an architectural form characterized by curves, verticality and poetic brick layouts, which instill pride, power and beauty. While the building already possessed a locally inspired exterior, radiating a clear identity, the challenge was to extend that atmosphere to the interior. Limited available space meant effective utilization was crucial. Added value came from providing an opportunity for a coffee break on the outside terrace, transforming the space into more than just a library.

Multifunctional Library

Espresso Information

Multifunctionality can now be found, for example, in the library’s only counter, which acts as an information desk as well as an espresso bar.

what

A recognizable identity for all

Multifunctionality is evident, for instance, at the library’s sole counter, serving as both an information desk and an espresso bar. With multiple levels and a spacious balcony, the building holds the potential to be not only a lively area for socializing but also a cozy and intimate space. This is reflected in the children’s corner, study and workspaces, and finally the versatile top floor. OBA van der Pek hosts various activities, such as debates, inspirational talks and workshops.

The home-like interior design aimed to enhance the features of the compact area. No space is wasted in this petite building. Instead of filling the interior with large props or furniture, we prioritized small elements that made a statement; their main goal was to give patrons a reason to stay, by making them curious and getting them inspired.

Openbare Bibliotheken Amsterdam created an identity with an iconic look, instilling pride in the local community.

OBA Van der Pek

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