Vennesla library, the
main library space.

Vennesla library, the main library space.

Main entrance seen from the town square. To the left entrance to the existing cinema.

Library, looking towards the foyer and the square.

Library, west side, with vertical shading.

Each of the ribs of the main structure consists of several components: a laminated timber column and -beam, ventilation ducts, lighting and integrated furniture.

Perspective diagrams showing the site between two existing buildings, and the parts of the structure from foundations to roof.

Diagram showing a section through the structure and its integrated elements, shelving etc..

Elevation showing main structural timber element with location of details.


The new Vennesla Cultural Centre comprises the new public library, a café and an existing cinema centre. The new building connects the functions and aims to create an attractive public meeting place connected to the town square.

The main structure of the new library consists of 27 ribs that span the entire space and contain lighting, acoustic panels, service conduit and built-in furniture. The ribs are prefabricated in laminated timber and CNC-milled plywood sheet. The form of the building and the gradual adjustment from rib to rib allows the structure to adapt to the existing buildings on either side, and to allow for daylight penetration and varying functional requirements as necessary.

The ribs are also visible on the outside of the building, spanning the entire width of the opening towards the square to the east and forming an "urban loggia" with public seating. The facades to the south and west are covered with fixed vertical sun shading.
One of the main aims of the building was to reduce the total energy requirement for the entire complex. The placement of the new building reduces the energy use of both buildings on either side, and the new building incorporates low energy and passive energy components including energy wells. Timber is used as a main material throughout.

Read Einar Bjarki Malmquist's review of the Vennesla Cultural Centre here.