The cascade staircase in the Vera Oeri Library with a skylight frieze

Thanks to its living green roof, the new three-storey library, most of which is underground, blends in seamlessly with its stately surroundings. Visitors access the library through an inviting, fully-glazed atrium. The fact that the underground sections are exposed on two sides, coupled with two large sky lights, means that even the lower floors are flooded with natural light. 

The project was made possible by generous funding from the Vera Oeri Foundation. 

Facts & Figures

Library type Specialist public and academic library
Volume 5'672 m3 or 1'678 m2
Capacity 3'100 metres of shelf space (lm)
Milestones Project approved June 2006; construction period July 2008 – June 2009; official opening: 14 September 2009
Costs CHF 7 million
Planning Vischer AG, Architekten + Planer, Basel
Architect Silvio Martignoni
Technical specifications Minergie standard, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to automate the check-in/check-out process and protect the holdings from theft, wireless access (WLAN)