Attention book lovers! Scandinavia is home to some of the world’s most impressive libraries. Not only do they house thousands of books, they are designed to impress. Here are three to put on your bucket list.
Situated between the Oslo Opera House and Oslo Central Station is one of Norway’s coolest new buildings. The modern Deichman Bjørvika opened in June 2020. In addition to the many books, the library has a cinema, cafés and lots of meeting spaces. Each of the building’s six floors has a different atmosphere. Grab a cup of coffee or bite to eat on the first floor before an afternoon of exploring. The second floor is the children’s floor and has amazing spots to play and see interactive video installations. The third floor is filled with music, films and games. You can even borrow a 3D printer, vinyl cutter and other textile machines. Those wanting quiet study rooms can hunker down on the fourth floor. The Future Library has its own room on the fifth floor.
Norway’s first youth-only library is an innovative place for children aged 10 to 15 to learn and have fun. Not only is Biblo Tøyen home to the country’s largest collection of children’s books, it also offers unique experiences, such as computer programming, 3D printing, music activities and cooking classes. The entire space encourages creativity and imagination. The books sit on floating shelves and are grouped by themes like animals and science fiction. Children can cozy up with their books in creative reading spaces—including a pink van, a ski lift and a wheelbarrow that have all been converted into seating.
Situated in Vennesla, Norway, this library is an architectural gem. In 2009, Norwegian architecture firm Helen & Hard won a competition to design this community space consisting of a library, café and public meeting area. The striking building opened in 2011. One of the most eye-catching features is the ribbed interior design, with wooden beams that curve around the ceiling and walls. Private study spaces are embedded within the bookshelves, and a large glass façade connects the interior to the city’s main square.