Henrik Ibsen Library, Skien
Kengo Kuma 

Henrik Ibsen Library, Skien

Kengo Kuma 


In what is one of Norway’s oldest cities, birthplace of its most universal man of letters, the project of Kengo Kuma – in collaboration with the Norwegian firm Mad Arkitekter – has placed first in the competition to build a library devoted to the playwright and theater director Henrik Ibsen. Author of many other sanctuaries of books, the Japanese architect here returns to timber to create a warm, pleasing interior atmosphere conducive to reading, with shelves doubling as seating for visitors, this time within a curvilinear construction that presents gently sloping roofs and glazed facades opening out to the small urban parkland surrounding it, towered over by existing trees.