The fourth extension of the German National Library in Leipzig is bold and unconventional. According to the architect, Gabriele Glöckler: “The concept ‘envelope– cover – contents’ translates the function of the building into architecture. “Function creates form”, is the architect’s motto.
“The contents are protected by a compact cover around the repository area. A lighter envelope forms the exterior shell and connects the separate areas”, she explains. “Allusion is made to both Leipzig’s musical tradition and the German Music Archives by using façade elements in graduated tones of red to interpret Bach’s Goldberg Variation number four.” The first two annexes stretch out behind the façade of the German Library, built in 1912 by Oskar Pusch. In 1982, however, the GDR, set a dry, windowless complex consisting of five high towers slightly apart from the historic building.
The new extension now closes this gap and links the neo-classical rectangular building, rendered less severe by Viennese art-nouveau nuances, with the book towers to form a whole entity. The new extension means the three very different building styles now interact with one another. An overall surface of 14.000 square meters now shelters the German Music Archive, previously in Berlin, and the German Book and Writing Museum. The enormous surface area is spread over nine floors, three of which were built underground. Back on the surface, the transparent extension is truly compelling. The ground floor serves as permanent or special exhibition space. Above the vitreous foyer the four main floors are clad with a silver envelope made of ALUCOBOND®.
Design: Gabriele Glöckler
Project: Enlargement National German Library
Planning & Realisation: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gabriele Glöckler | ZSP Architekten, Germany
Fabricator/Installer: Fa. Aluform, Bad Rappenau, Germany
Fa. Henke, Dresden, Germany
Year of Construction: 2011
Product: ALUCOBOND® Brillant Metallic & Pure White 10
Photos: Gabriele Glöckler – Photographer: Maix Mayer