More than a million books, movies, games, CDs and other media finally got a fancy new home. It stands side by side with Oslo’s best-known landmark, the Opera house, with a view over the fjord, and just a few steps from the central station. The first impressions might suggest it is trying (too) hard to steal some of the attention, with its cantilevered roof and modern – many argue too cold and corporate – facade.
But let’s focus on the core, its interior, the atmosphere and the library as an institution. It feels welcoming, inclusive and dynamic, where different zones and departments attach to an open room in the centre filled with skylight. I believe modern libraries should be much more than storage for books: they should ignite a love for knowledge and learning, offer a safe and calm environment for work and mental exercise, and above all create a place where one can just be. Deichman Bjørvika succeeds in this aim and it has something for everyone. There are cool and fun nooks and play areas hiding in the children’s department and it is our family’s favourite new afternoon activity when Oslo serves bad weather.
If you just want to sit and relax, continue to the top floor where you will find a spacious lounge area with a magnificent view over the Opera and the fjord behind it – city exploring break really cannot get any better than that.