The venue for the conference was more than just a neutral space: in its structure, it reflected central conference values and topics such as "The Power of Experiments" or "Libraries as Innovative Places of Urban Society". The individual conference architecture was developed by the interdisciplinary team of raumlabor berlin, which combines experimental architecture and urban planning within its projects.
With the temporary structure, a core idea of the conference was put into action: public libraries need to be redesigned and designed, and, above all, need to get closer to the people who visit and revive them. In addition, the intended workshop character of the conference was supported by this spatial setting. Besides theoretical discourse, conference guests not only talked and listened but also took part in participation-oriented formats and international exchanges. People discussed and worked together, but also experimented and tested proto-types of all sorts.
raumlabor berlin created a structure for the conference in which the rooms and spaces helped to think out of the box. All rooms were built differently, the wood structure and a simplistic interior made the "campus" extremely flexible. The central walk-way functioned as a link between all the rooms and the plenary enabled communication and offered insights into the workshop spaces.
The Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB) has only very limited space and is regularly overcrowded. It’s been fighting for a new library building for years. Meeting facilities do not exist in the America Memorial Library. That's how the idea came up early to go outside and literally move out of the library. At the location where the new Berlin central library building is to be built (the decision was made only in the summer of 2018, after years of lobbying, construction is to start in 2026), the Next Library Conference marks the first important step into a new future: Libraries need to open up even more, and involve the communities even more in developing their offerings, they need to show (and live) accessibility and must meet the expectations of the urban society with regard to its scope for participation and participation.
The temporary campus was also used for the first Berlin Library Festival following the Next Library® Conference.
While the materials of the substructure and the plenary were originally used at a timber construction exhibition in Biberach (Germany), the extensively used scaffolding was rented. The nine so-called plug-ins (workshop rooms) consisted largely of new materials. These transportable modules could be easily dismantled and easily rebuilt at a new location.
After completing the conference and the festival, the campus was dismantled and stored. raumlabor berlin is currently in contact with various interested parties for its reuse, for example:
all pictures: © ZLB/Mike Auerbach