The residents of a socially depressed neighbourhood have organised to collect and share books in an open-air library that they have constructed, after a participative process, with prefabricated pieces from a demolished building.
Like many other suburbs of East Germany, the Salbke district in the south-east of Magdeburg is deeply immersed in a state of physical and social decadence. Unemployment figures are high and public facilities are scarce. In the old centre closed-down businesses abound along with unoccupied housing, vacant lots and abandoned factories that populate the post-industrial landscape. One of the vacant lots was the triangular space defined by the intersection of the main street with Blumenberger Strasse, which remained vacant after the old district library was demolished.
In an open participative process, with advice from a group of professionals, a programme of needs was agreed upon, and several designs for an open-air library on the site were produced. Some twenty thousand books were collected and, with over a thousand beer crates a 1:1 scale model of the design that the residents liked best was constructed on the definitive location.
Architects - KARO* with Architektur+Netzwerk