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An impressive piece of architecture has appeared on a previously dilapidated piece of Gent

The Krook, a large-scale urban renewal project, is a building that looks like a steel barge and includes the new city library, laboratories and offices of Gent University. The Krook was designed by the Gent bureau Coussée & Goris in collaboration with RCR Arquitectes, 2017 winners of the Pritzker Prize.

The powerful design of the building is continued inside, with library shelving and custom made furniture in solid steel in a sober color palette. The spacious library collection has been arranged in an open and linear layout with shelving deliberately kept low to maintain the feeling of an open space. The shelving is based on the 60/30 shelving system, but were adapted to the library's needs and the aesthetic expectations of the architect. Steel cover plates and skirtings form a solid casing with LED strips illuminating sloping shelves. Simple but clear signage indicates the reader's way around the library.

Arranged together with the custom made and loose furniture, the library shelves form a coherent whole that fits the architecture.

The open and transparent building invites you to discover and meet-up and the library can now boast with receiving more than 7000 visitors daily. The emphasis when designing the library was to create a flexible, futuristic layout and interior design, with the built-in touch screens being the first of many step towards more digital applications in the near future. This library offers the reader what he expects today, but is ready for tomorrow's new challenges.

Products used at Waalse Krook Public Library, Gent, Belgium

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