Case studies

Convenience and accessibility for the new Stuttgart public library

The new Stuttgart public library hosts 500,000 media units on two underground and nine above-ground floors. GEZE contributed to accessibility and safety in the new public library with high-quality sliding door systems and fire safety solutions.

An inner city monolith as an 'oasis of calm'

The public library at Mailänder Platz as an 'oasis of calm'. Photo: Lazaros Filoglou for GEZE GmbH

The public library at Mailänder Platz © GEZE GmbH

'Public Library at Mailänder Platz' is the official name of the new Stuttgart city library, which opened its doors at the end of October 2011. The Cologne architecture Eun Young Yi designed it as a 'free-standing, monolithic structure' with 44 m long sides and a height of 40 m.

The building shell consists of a double façade with an outer façade as a layer of glass bricks and an inner mullion-transom construction as thermal insulation for the building. With this second façade, Young Yi, who consciously designed the new library as a structure with an inward focus, separates the world of books and culture from the busy world Outside. The passages in-between the building covers can be used as a promenade. At night, they are fascinatingly illuminated blue.

Brightness and accessibility characterise the building complex

View of the reading gallery and fanlight in the Stuttgart public library. Photo: Lazaros Filoglou for GEZE GmbH

Light and open: View of the reading gallery under the central fanlight © GEZE GmbH

There are three central spatial areas arranged on top of each other in the core of the library:

  • The meeting room in the basement
  • A 14x14x14 m square, completely neutrally designed central room which extends over four floors. This forms the symbolic heart of the library, and acts as the building’s spacious and meditative centre point.
  • An open reading gallery, also on four levels, reaches terrace-like across the central room. The galleries and bookshelves recede from floor to floor, giving the gallery an appearance of opening towards the sky.

The inspiration behind this impressive design concept was Paris’s 18th century 'Bibliothèque Nationale de France'. State-of-the-art door and window technology complements the bright, open aesthetics of Stuttgart public library.

Accessible convenience in reduced design

Visitors enter the ring-shaped foyer through high door openings with vestibules on all four sides of the building. The double fully automatic two-leaf swing doors with GEZE Slimdrive EMD F-IS side-hung leaf drives quietly and comfortably handle the flow of people continuously going in and out. Almost symbolically, the doors stand for what visitors expect: the comfort of a modern library, security, quiet and a purist design.

The activation switches integrated into the door knobs ensure that a gentle push is sufficient to start the soundless opening of the high doors. Radar movement detectors and sensor strips integrated discreetly into the door also avoid 'collisions' between pedestrians and door. The sleek side-hung leaf drive, only 7 cm high, with an invisibly integrated closing sequence control, emphasises the discreet door design and the white reduced design of the entire entrance area.

Automatic side-hung leaf drives for preventive fire protection

The combination of accessibility, fire safety and design created by the GEZE system products has been masterfully implemented almost everywhere in the library. Fire safety plays a fundamental role in this complex structure in which there are constantly hundreds of people . Automatic single-leaf fire protection doors, with aluminium framing and discreet, compact Slimdrive EMD-F side-hung leaf drives, can be found in the entrances to the reading gallery levels. The same door solutions were realised for corridor and fire section doors on the individual floors. The well-proven GEZE door closers, especially those from the TS 5000 series, have also been installed on a number of doors on all floors.

Convenient sliding door systems in fire safety design

A joint product by GEZE and Hörmann: automatic accessible T30 sliding door system in fire safety design. Photo: Lazaros Filoglou for GEZE GmbH

Sliding door systems in the entrance to the reading gallery © GEZE GmbH

The four busy entrances to the first-floor reading gallery, directly above the 'heart' of the library, were equipped with fully automatic linear sliding doors. From here, visitors move between the floors using the offset flights of stairs. The fully glazed automatic T30 fire safety sliding door systems combine accessibility and preventive fire protection with comfort and convenience. The lack of guide rails in the corridor area ensures that the sliding doors are easily navigable and barrier-free in normal operation.

In the event of fire, the doors close automatically and ensure safe fire protection- even if the hold-open function of the automatic door was used previously. The narrow door drives were discreetly integrated into the door lintel covering, along with the combined radar movement detector for activating and safeguarding the door. A display programme switch with a key switch for safeguarding the door against unauthorised operation was incorporated into the door jamb and the side wall of the bookshelves.

GEZE products in the Stuttgart public library

  • Slimdrive EMD F-IS side-hung leaf drives
  • Slimdrive EMD F side-hung leaf drive
  • GEZE TS 5000 series door closers
  • Display programme switch with key switch