Page E1.1 . 21 September 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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    Where the Law is Clear

    by ArchitectureWeek

    At the University of Hamburg, the new Central Library of Law is a showcase of "green" operations that also projects a literally green, leaf-patterned backdrop for a historic villa. The German firm me di um Achitekten, partners Klaus Roloff and Michael Ruffing, conceived the library as a compact and transparent book warehouse, connected to the existing Faculty of Law building by a glass atrium. The library's facades and atrium perform dual roles of energy conservation and accommodation to the existing campus.

    The glazed walls are fitted with panes of different colors, so they change in appearance depending on relative lighting with the time of day and season. By day, the library's stylized tree motif on the south facade forms an arboreal backdrop for the adjacent 19th-century villa and places it in an imaginary park. At night, the other elevations glow yellow and red.

    As a newcomer to campus, the library creates a courtyard between itself and the older Faculty of Law Building, while its eastern facade aligns with the row of buildings facing Rothenbaumchaussee. The existing main entrance of the Faculty of Law Building is preserved and also serves as the foyer of the new library. Between the two buildings is a glass atrium that unites them and that plays a prominent role in the energy operations of the library.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The new Central Library of Law at the University of Hamburg by me di um Achitekten.
    Photo: Klaus Frahm

    ArchWeek Image

    Forecourt between the new library and the older Faculty of Law building.
    Photo: me di um Architekten


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