DOKK1 named world’s best public library

DOKK1 in Aarhus has won the international ‘Systematic – Public Library of the Year 2016’ award as the best new public library in the world. This is the first time a Danish library has received this honour.

Photo: Schmidt, Hammer, Lassen

The prize was awarded at the annual meeting of the International Federation
of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Columbus, Ohio.

Minister for Culture Bertel Haarder says:

”Dokk1 is an unusually successful encounter between two beautiful Danish
traditions: On one hand, our cultural ambitions to open up all branches of
knowledge to every generation and social class and, on the other hand, our
sense of functional and beautiful design. Dokk1 is an excellent example of how
you create visionary and modern architecture that takes into account the
library’s many, diverse tasks and digital opportunities. I am very happy about
the prize, which is a huge credit to Aarhus.”

Alderman for the Municipality of Aarhus Rabih Azad-Ahmad says:

”I am proud and happy that Aarhus’ new public library is garnering
international recognition and has now been named the best in the world.
Dokk1 has become a unique gathering point and meeting place for knowledge,
opinions, and people, and the building attracts tourists and professionals from
all over the world. International praise and pats on the back from abroad are
always nice, but it means just as much that Dokk1 has become a popular
meeting place for Aarhusians.”

DOKK1 was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, and the
selection was made by an international jury of professionals, including
architects and library experts, from a total of four nominated libraries from
Australia, the US, and Denmark.

Read the statement of the jury of professionals here

About the prize

The ’Systematic – Public Library of the Year’ award is an international library
prize that is given to the best new public library in the world. The new library
must take into consideration new digital developments, the needs and desires
of users, the local culture, and the desire to accommodate a diverse population
group with an open and functional architectural expression.

The prize is awarded by the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces as a part of the Model Programme for Public Libraries with IT company Systematic as sponsor. Therefore the award is named ‘Systematic – Public Library of the Year Award’.

Read more about the libraries nominated, the members of the panel of judges, and the library of the future at the Model Programme’s homepage

Last updated: 07.08.2017


Jakob Dahl Klausen
41 39 38 11
  • Agency for Culture and Palaces
  • H.C. Andersens Boulevard 2
  • DK-1553 Copenhagen V
  • Telephone: +45 33 95 42 00

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