27 March 2010

The Black Diamond

I'm in Copenhagen for the weekend so thought that I should check out the city's landmark Black Diamond: a bold extension to Denmark's Royal Library.

It is a great building and one that - even despite its cavernous, semi-industrial interior - feels particularly serene. Maybe the Danes are better behaved but it also seemed to be less noisy than some of the other libraries I've been investigating in the UK. Also being a design-conscious, cultural nation, the elegant gift shop was stocked with a selection of beautiful but sometimes weighty publications devoted to such subjects as furniture design, typography, interiors, architecture and music [the Black Diamond also hosts performances]. It's just a shame that everything is so expensive here.

However it wasn't the favourite location that I experienced yesterday. That honour has to go to Arne Jacobsen's Nationalbank headquarters with its breath-takingly modernist - yet proportionally almost ecclesiastic - foyer. With the current British Library-linked project for the 3Dmax class, I have actually turned my attention to staircases [sort of considering them as metaphors for how sound moves spatially through an environment] so this one located, within an almost silent space, proved interesting. Lovely use of text on the outside too.

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