Lovers of both architecture and great public spaces should not miss the Malmö City Library. Its three interconnected buildings bring history and modernity together in a beautiful setting, and the resulting vibe makes it one of my favourite places in the city.
The original building, called “the Castle”, was initially designed and built as a museum in 1901 and converted into the city’s main public library in 1946. An extensive expansion completed in 1997 added two very different, yet complementary, buildings by world-renowned Danish architect Henning Larsen.
Visitors enter through “the Cylinder” that houses the main information desk and cafe serving traditional Swedish “fika” fare. High-ceiling glass corridors seamlessly connect “the Castle” to the soaring “Calendar of Light” where 1,400 square meters of glass facade provide patrons with maximum natural daylight and spectacular views of the adjacent park through the changing seasons.
The library has won numerous awards for both architectural design and the public services offered to the multi-cultural population of Malmö. Besides books and other media in up to 60 different languages, it maintains magazine and newspaper subscriptions from all over the world, as well as a regular schedule of free educational and cultural events for all ages and interests.
This is a great place to stop for refreshment or reflection, or both, after a stroll through the adjacent Kungsparken. It’s generally open 7 days a week, though hours of operation are scaled back during the spring and summer months when nature-crazy Swedes prefer to be outdoors.