Media Mountain, Stockholm


  • The Stockholm City Library


  • Gijs Wolfs
  • Ernst van Rijn
  • Oriol Casas Cancer
  • Paul Kersten
  • Svet Gavrilov
  • Danli Sheng



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Reinterpreting Asplund: The Media Mountain integrates the iconic Asplund Library into a 21st century context.

Mountain meets Monument: Freeing the Asplund Library of its annexes and extending the Observatory Hill yields a powerful counterbalance between monument and mountain.

Public Landscape: A network of pathways, plazas, platforms, stairs and terraces defines a three-dimensional public landscape, cut short by a public elevator.

Public Interior: A succession of 24/7 public interiors from the Underground hub of Odenplan to the Bazar along Sveavägen forms a metropolitan backbone and integrates the new library complex into the daily life of the citizens of Stockholm.

Scaling the Mountain: A canyon of stairs and escalators – outside as well as inside – scaling the hill, up to the Observatory.

Reading the Mountain: A striated beehive of open shelving deeply penetrated by sunlight. Free flowing floors straddling the rock face and hinging on a diagonal grotto as a 21st century counterpoint to Asplunds rotunda. Glazed reading balconies facing north highlight the interior and frame the views. An airy pavilion in the Observatory Park tops the Media Mountain.

Urban hinge: The extended diagonal of Karlbergsvägen culminates in the new Library Plaza, opening up the vista towards Asplunds Rotunda. A transparent bookend housing staff functions keeps the Media Mountain upright while anchoring the new complex in the city grid. The public elevator on its end defines a prominent new vertical axis directly connecting Odengatan to the Observatory Hill.

Green face: The Media Mountain is clad in an insulating ecological skin changing color with the seasons, punctuated by glazed reading balconies, bringing the Observatory Hill to Odengatan.

Fantasy – Fiction – Experience – Fact – Reflection – Digestion: The Asplund building will be devoted to the Childrens Library and to Fiction. The 24/7 backbone of the new complex gathers Experience, gradually giving way to Facts by going up the mountain leading to Reflection. The restaurant facing the pond on Sveavagen and the café in the Observatorypark form a couple of diagonally opposed attractors.

Free form flexibility: The flexible zoning system of the floor plans and the free form of the mountain allow for an easy adjustment between program and built volume. The usable floor area as drawn totals on the required 24.000 m2.