Caruso St John Architects has won the relaunched competition to restore and expand Asplund’s Stockholm City Library
The practice behind the recent Tate Britain revamp saw off local practices Tengbom Architects, Ahrbom and Partners, and White Architects in the invited contest to scoop the high-profile job of transforming Asplund’s iconic 1928 library.
The headline-grabbing 2007 contest saw more than 1,100 practices from across the globe competing to land the £59million project.
However the victorious project, which proposed a major new building joined to Asplund’s masterpiece by a low-rise landscaped ‘podium’ was unpopular with local heritage groups and was effectively shelved due to budget cuts in 2009.
According to Stockholm city government, the modernist library, which is one of Sweden’s most significant buildings, is in major need of maintenance.
The latest project will involve work to the building’s annex and bazaars as well as to the main building, and will be carried out in collaboration with Swedish practice Scheiwiller Svensson Arkitektkontor.
The much-loved library will not be altered externally, but the interior will be renovated and remodelled to allow it to ‘meet visitors’ needs and the requirements of a modern library’.
Juan Copovi-Mena, property director for Stockholm city authority, said: ‘Our assessment is simply that Caruso St John is most qualified for the task.
‘They have a recognised expertise in working with cultural and historical buildings and public buildings containing cultural activities.’
While Inga Lunden of Stockholm City Library, added: ‘We strongly believe in the architect and look forward to quickly getting to work.
‘We know how we want the building to be developed to meet visitors’ needs and requirements of a modern library. We look forward to constructive dialogue with the architect on those issues.’
Work on transforming the library will begin in 2017 and is set to be completed by 2019.