Architecture Working Group

LIBER Architecture Group Heads for Luxembourg in 2020

Posted: 13-11-2018 Topics: Strategy

The highly successful 19th Seminar of LIBER’s Architecture Group (LAG) — held in the Zaha Hadid library at the WU Vienna — finished not long ago but already the indefatigable members of LAG are working on the plans and programme for the 20th seminar, to be held at the spectacular new library at the University of Luxembourg in April 2020.

Delegates at the 19th LIBER Architecture Seminar in Vienna.

University of Luxembourg Library

The seminar is always held in an exciting venue with a new or refurbished library providing the focus for debate and discussion and the 20th seminar will be no different. The new University of Luxembourg library is part of a new campus development at Belval – one of the largest and most ambitious current urban renewal projects in Europe set on grounds that once housed Luxembourg’s largest steel foundry.

In the “Cité des Sciences” – planned by Jo Coenen Architects of Maastricht, the development corporation Agora and the Fonds Belval – the library is positioned at the heart of the campus. The architecture office Valentiny HVP and job architect Daniela Flor transformed a former steel production facility into the Luxembourg Learning Centre. The  project is the result of  close collaboration between the architect, the Fonds Belval, the university  and the university library.

Vienna Seminar Evaluation

What did LAG learn from the evaluation of the Vienna seminar that can feed into the planning for the 2020 seminar?

  • Our delegates would like us to provide them with a certificate of attendance and they want us to provide a list of participants (while respecting data protection regulations). We’ll do this in 2020!
  • They like the mix of new buildings and renovation projects and the mix of architects, librarians and campus planners/administrators as presenters.
  • They want an update on building trends, theoretical and practical talks and lots of opportunity to network, discuss and debate with colleagues from many different countries.

One comment which summed it all up said:

It made me think about the question: What is a library? What should it be? What should library buildings look like? I left the conference with new answers.

Another noted:

The presentations gave me architectural inspiration and very relevant input to the whole planning process from framing the concept for a new library to organizing the library and study environment.

2020 Initial Plans and Programme

LAG met recently in the refurbished and beautifully located University of Konstanz Library to start planning the 2020 seminar. Picking up on topics suggested in the 2018 evaluation, the draft programme currently includes user engagement, interiors, lighting, post-occupancy evaluation, staff spaces, climate/energy control, learning centres and research hubs. There will be the usual mix of projects and speakers, and possibly a pre-seminar workshop.

Watch this space for updates. And, to the person who said in the Vienna evaluation, ‘it is a pity that we have to wait two years for the next seminar’ – you have less than 18 months to wait!

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