University Library, Freiburg, Germany

Degelo Architekten
Date Built
Completed 2015

The library's Wikipedia page explains that the university's existing library, ".... had to be renovated primarily because the technology that was used in the building, e.g. the air conditioning system, was outdated, and because the front was damaged. The reconstruction of the library was intended to save money in the management of the building. The library is also supposed to integrate into the city’s urban development concept. In early 2006, the reconstruction was initiated by an architectural design competition. The winner was Degelo Architekten, an architecture firm from Basel. Initially, the costs were estimated at 32 million Euros."

"The tear down of the building was done in December 2011, after which the shell was built. In October 2012, while building the shell, it became public that the renovation would exceed the planned cost of 44 million euros."

"In April 2014, the front was completed. Its paneling was not finished until shortly before the opening in July. I. ...  Further difficulties with the building include the fact that traffic .... are blinded by the reflections on the southeastern corner of the glass front when the sun is low in spring and fall. For this reason, canvas blinds are used to cover it during these times. ...

.... The new university library began test operation on 21 July 2015, almost two years after initially planned."

On May 10, 2016 the library celebrated its two-millionth visitor presenting a bouquet of flowers to Jonathan Grelier, an Erasmus scholar at the University. "When asked what he likes best at the university library, he replied: 'That I  can always work here  in peace between the classes.'"  The university website explains that since it opened on July 21, 2015, the new building has regularly received up to 12,000 visits per day, measured by infrared sensors at the entrances on the ground floor and a counting system with a light barrier in the bicycle garage.

The library's website adds that, "... The design of Heinrich Degelo represents a pioneering new architectural form that responds strongly to the urban context. The new semi-transparent facade creates a strong symbiosis between environment and building - they become one.  The concept is also energy efficient: The area is as large as the previous building, the surface but smaller by almost a third. The sun protection glazing of the compact outer shell is triple insulated, the internal temperature is kept constant by means of well water and heat recovery. The new UB will thus need according to forecasts up to 65 percent less energy than the previous building. Power supplies the largest with 2,000 square meters of urban photovoltaic system on the roof."