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Look Inside the Most Cutting-Edge Public Library in the World

2 minute read

Library lovers have a reason to visit Denmark: the Dokk1 in Aarhus was just crowned the best public library in the world.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) awarded the Dokk1 with the best library title at a meeting in Columbus, Ohio, throwing a spotlight on the futuristic building that opened in June 2015. The largest public library in Scandinavia has books and workspaces like most public libraries, but serves other functions for the community by housing meetings, performances, art installations and places for kids to play.

Dokk1 Library

Danish architecture firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen designed the building and created plenty of open spaces with modern finishes, natural light and sweeping views of the river port just outside.

The building even has the world’s largest tubular bell, which rings every time a baby is born in the city (new parents can push a button in their maternity ward to alert the masses). Over 1 million people have visited the library since its opening.

“DOKK1 is an unusually successful encounter between two beautiful Danish traditions: On one hand, our cultural ambitions to open up all branches of knowledge to every generation and social class and, on the other hand, our sense of functional and beautiful design,” said Denmark’s Minister for Culture Bertel Haarder in a press release about the win. “I am very happy about the prize, which is a huge credit to Aarhus.”

Check out more photos of the champion library below:




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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com