Newly renovated library with a retro vibe
2 May 2019
On 2 May Carolina Rediviva threw open the doors to its renovated premises following a two-year renovation. “I had high expectations but I think it’s turned out better than I hoped. It’s now as grand on the inside as it is on the outside,” says Cecilia Ekström.
The first things to note in the newly renovated entrance hall are the light-green colours on the walls and the open spaces. The previously rather cluttered entrance to the University Library has been refined and now serves exclusively as an entrance hall.
“We have had a clear-out to create a more open space which I feel delivers on the ‘wow’ factor,” says Cecilia Ekström, head of division at the University Library who was involved in planning the project in collaboration with architect Johan Celsing and the Buildings Division, among others. As the library is a listed building, the Swedish National Heritage Board was also involved in the process.
The shop previously located in the middle of the entrance hall has moved into its own space right next to the main entrance. There is also a new exhibition hall displaying the library’s most famous treasures, such as the Uppsala Edda and Carta Marina. The most valuable work, the Silver Bible, is displayed in a room at the far end of the space.
From the entrance visitors can also access the new conference space, furnished thanks to funds from Beijerstiftelsen.
“We have also carried out a lot of work on areas not visible on the surface, such as ventilation and cabling hidden in the walls,” says Annamaria Hartvik, project manager at the Buildings Division.
From the entrance we can enter the library where we are met by the new information desk.
“We are now more accessible. We have also moved the course-book library here from the ninth floor to make it easier for the students,” explains Cecilia Ekström.
All bookshelves in the library have a coral-red lining, and the room gives off a warm and welcoming feel. From here, visitors can move on to the quiet reading rooms that have not been affected by the renovation. They can also find the café which is possibly the space that has changed the most during the works.
“The architect has truly stuck to the design of the parts of the building extended in the 1960s. It was in fact the architect’s father, Peter Celsing, who was responsible for the extension,” explains Annamaria Hartvik.
The café now has space for some 200 people around the yellow tables, and there are also seating areas and a kitchenette one floor up.
“The idea is that people should be able to sit and have coffee here as well as study or do group work – something many students have been asking for,” says Annamaria Hartvik.
The new premises will be open from 2 May, but the café will first be up and running after the summer. The exhibition hall will be opened on 14 June, with the entire building being opened again in conjunction with the start of the autumn semester.
“I had high expectations but I think it’s turned out better than I hoped. It’s now as grand on the inside as it is on the outside,” says Cecilia Ekström.
Read more about the history of the University Library.
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