The Library was conceived as a ‘space for contemplation’ and is generally referred to as the most anti-social room in Kunsten. The room is designed for people to sit and read books from the Museum or to watch a film. Whereas everywhere else in the Museum people walk around chatting about what they are experiencing, in the Library a very special peace reigns.
The Library at Kunsten is the largest art library outside Copenhagen. The Library contains press cuttings and an extensive selection of books about art, and art books that relate to what visitors see in the exhibitions. The Library also features books, which are small works of art in their own right and published in limited editions.
Alvar Aalto designed the gallery as an irregular polygon with a unique concrete structure and four fan-shaped skylight windows. So the light enters the gallery from a window at the top – from which there is a little glimpse of the long marble wall. Throughout the years the gallery has served as an ‘Aalto Showroom’, all its furniture and lamps having been designed by Alvar Aalto.
The room has been through many phases before arriving at its present state. Originally it was created as a chamber music room, and for the sake of acoustics it had parquet flooring, and the walls were covered with curtains manufactured according to the architects’ designs. Later the room was converted to a museum of children’s art, then a cinema, later to an Art Lab and now a library.