Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Reflecting Diamond

The old university library (1978-2008) was regarded as not-refurbishable
due to the energy consumption of its air conditioning (©Wikipedia/Klaus Graf) 
The other day Red Baron took part in a guided tour of Freiburg's new Universitätsbibliothek (university library) that should open in spring 2015. The tour was limited to 25 persons and organized by the Badische Zeitung.

The new glass and stainless steel diamond in November 2013  (©Wikipedia/jörgens.mi) 
Many a person in Freiburg considers the new library building made of glass and steel atrocious. Red Baron, however, likes those technical things as my neighbor once commented when I had placed a satellite antenna with a diameter of 1.5 meters on the balcony of my house to capture German television in Geneva. Concerning the new library, I even go a step further and regard the building as an enrichment of Freiburg's architectural heritage.

Not to mention the innovations built into the new library. The latest developments for electronic reading and internet have been incorporated. Although the building has triple glazing, it is not zero energy. Solar panels on the roof will support the heating system in winter while cold water from deep wells will assure that the interior temperature in summer will not exceed 22 degrees centigrade. Red Baron was impressed and is looking forward to visiting the public café inside the library overlooking the Platz der Alten Synagoge (Square of the old synagogue) as part of the university campus.

Reflecting the late April sun (©Badische Zeitung)
Already in spring of this year with the sun shining at a low angle, drivers approaching the building from Rempartstraße were dazzled by the light reflected from the glass surface. This came as a surprise to the architect, builder, and public. The university officials promised to span a sail over the glass surface so that the driving public would no longer be perturbed. With fall approaching a black cover went up for the first time yesterday. This "sail" does not look so great. However, the university officials plan to make a virtue of necessity by using the veiled surface as a banner. In the future people passing by will probably see announcements of special lectures or of other university events.

The "sail" in position waiting for the rising sun

1 comment:

  1. Na ja - de gustibus non est disputandum... soo phantasielos, und - : ob Lichtreflex oder Universitaets Reklame - ein traffic hazard ist das allemal!