LØVSETH+PARTNERE | The Library of Tønsberg

The Library of Tønsberg

Competition: 1.st prize open competition 1987

Client: Tønsberg and Nøtterøy Municipalities

Architect: Lunde & Løvseth

Size: 5.000 m2

Awards: Houens fonds diploma, The Norwegian Steel Prize, The European Steel Prize, Zandas Scandinavian Architecture Award.

Completed: 1992


The building is centrally located in Tønsberg above Viking graves and a medieval monastery. The ruins of the monastery’s walls and buildings are found in the interior and have been the source of inspiration for the design, as a continuous curved brick wall makes a distinction between open lending areas against the street and closed library functions behind the wall. This wall paraphrases the monastery’s original wall to the sea. Facing the street, the library room over four floors is covered with curved skylights vaulted by branched steel columns. These constructions provide associations to monastery vaults and trees in the original monastery port.