The Postjesweg branch will reinforce OBA’s library network in the Nieuw-West district, a sprawling, high-density suburban residential area in the west of Amsterdam. Occupying the southwestern corner of an existing mixed-use building, the new library is organised on two levels. An engaging double-height plinth reveals a welcoming ‘urban living room’, a place where people feel at home. The ground floor features a long table merging with the cafe counter.
A sculptural mezzanine gives depth to the façade and visually connects the two levels. Both entrances open onto a generous reading café and adjacent children’s library. A multifunctional space can supplement the main reading area or can be closed to function as a space for exhibitions, courses, and events. The zig-zagged edge of the mezzanine has been designed to increase the number of seats for the study area offering different points of view.
The materials and furniture follow the OBA house style to create an easily recognisable identity for all branches. Throughout the library, bespoke benches, bookshelves, tables, and chairs cater for a variety of reading activities and events. A vibrant colour palette and wooden finishes contribute to a warm atmosphere. Acoustic panels and soft furnishings balance the collaborative areas with quieter spaces for concentration.
When designing the shelving and collection arrangement, we followed a set of principles developed together with the client: maximising the number of books, allowing space for face-out book displays and showing book covers as much as possible to attract readers. A custom-made information point at the mezzanine level will also furnish all future OBA venues. To encourage independent use, Mecanoo designed this piece with integrated functions for children and people with limited mobility.