Building Conversion and Extension for Municipal Library, Lichtenfels, Germany

Building Conversion and Extension for Municipal Library

The city is developing a "place of communication, education, inspiration and emotion" that reflects local and regional identity. Through open and inviting spaces, the municipal library with its additional uses, such as the book staircase as an event venue for readings, becomes the new center of urban encounters.

The city center is characterized by densely packed buildings, some of which are class listed monuments. A former Hotel, a two-story building dating back to the middle of the 18th century, stands in this urban context. The associated plot of land, which measures around 1,000 m² , extends narrowly into the depths and ends at a retaining wall around 10 m high, which overcomes the difference in height to the town castle behind it. This is the site for the new municipal library building. In addition, around 730 m² are planned in the thoroughly former Hotel Krone for the tourist information office, the office for economy, tourism and culture as well as for association offices. An always publicly accessible inner courtyard as a path across the property with a fountain and water feature connects the market square with the town hall in the north and the town castle in the south.

Comfort conceptual goals are implemented in the form of optimized natural lighting in the old and new buildings - despite very dense development. Priority is also given to natural ventilation, which only supports central mechanical ventilation in the new building if required. Heating and radiation-based room cooling in the old building are provided by thermally activated clay ceiling panels. In the new building, room conditioning is mainly based on a thermally activated screed floor. In terms of energy concept, the refurbishment of the old building results in significant savings in embodied carbon (embodied, "gray" energy) compared to a completely new building. This approach is supported by the increased use of wood as a construction material for the new building. Building operation is also optimized in terms of emissions: A geothermally coupled, energy-efficient heat pump maximizes the potential of free cooling and waste heat recovery. Grid efficiency and sector coupling lead to a further decrease in the operation-related CO2 emissions of both buildings as the power grid becomes increasingly fossil-free.