DOK, Delft’s Library Concept Centre. Aat Vos.

by Christiane Burklein on Thursday, 28th February 2013 in Design

The municipality of Delft wanted to modernise and relocate its community library. The resulting project won the 2009 best library award in the Netherlands and continues to inspire visitors and users. It has now become one of the industry’s benchmarks.

Designing a library these days is a challenge, particularly bearing in mind technological advances and changes in the habits and customs of readers.

So, for Aat Vos and his design team, working closely with Liesbeth van der Pol from DOK Architecten, it was a question of reusing the structural elements of the existing building on the one hand and creating a place that was ready for the future on the other.

Aat Vos opted to retain the old urban building complex and add shelves that create the space, rather than actually occupying, composing unique areas full of light and vitality.

The DOK is not just a library, it offers a complete cultural panorama with its three media sections (DOK Art, DOK Music and Film, DOK Library), paying special attention to the needs of little ones too, since they are the future of this kind of institution.

The idea that inspired the design was to create a kind of “third place”, in other words a place that could be a home away from home and an office away from the office, a space that is liveable 360° for all the townspeople. An idea that has brought it a number of awards, including being shortlisted for the Green LEAF Awards in 2007.

Project: Aat Vos ( with Liesbeth van der Pol, DOK Architecten
Location: Delft, The Netherlands
Year: 2007
Photos: Courtesy of Aat Vos
Awards: Shortlisted for the 2007 LEAF Awards, Best Library in the Netherlands 2009
Link: The Arch, 3XN,

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