Art meets Architecture // Look Up
By the harbour in Copenhagen, you will find the Royal Library, which is much more than just a place for books. There, you can enjoy a magnificent view, beautiful architecture and impressive art. The new section of the Royal Library from 1999 is designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. It is called the Black Diamant and has a façade consisting of 2,500 m2 of granite that mirrors the sky and sea connecting the city with the harbour.
When you walk up to the third floor, there is a bridge connecting the new and the old library, and when you look up, you find a 210 m2 oval-shaped mural created by the Danish artist Per Kirkeby.
“Per Kirkeby created the mural, which is located above the bridge that connects the old and the new library. Not only does the bridge connect the two parts of the library internally, but it is also visible from the outside. It is visible from Christians Brygge, the public street directly below the bridge. This makes the mural into a form of street art – most likely the biggest of its kind in Copenhagen. Therefore, this particular place becomes a focal point for the experiencing of the building,” explains Bjarne Hammer.
The painting emphasises the transition from old to new, and the abstract lines invite the spectator to stop and reflect and to allow oneself to get lost in the painting.
“In Per Kirkeby’s artworks, we find that he has a special understanding of building integrated art. He is a master at working in this scale, and he is a fabulous narrator. His pieces contain several layers of narration,” says Bjarne Hammer.
This story is part of a three-piece series, originally published as the DANISH™ single; "When Art meets Architecture".
Words DANISH™ (edited from original) Photos OLE HEIN PEDERSEN