Vennesla Library, Norway

When standing within the cavernous expanse of Norway’s Vennesla Library one is almost transported to the inside of a blue whale, looking up at the arched, ivory ribcage (In fact, we’re thinking this very library may have been what actually swallowed Pinocchio).

Twenty-seven prefabricated, glue-laminated, timber ‘ribs’ combine to create the library and the curved, undulating geometry of the roof constructed by the architects at Helen + Hard. The architecture also creates open spaces and comfy reading niches nestled along the perimeter. The gradually shifting shapes of the ribs adapt to encase the library, a café, meeting places and administrative areas and also links an existing community house and learning centre. Accessible from the main city square, urban dwellers are funneled into the library from the swirling tile mosaic in the courtyard. As much as we love the iPad, this joint seems like the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

Photography: Helen + Hard