The Västerås Public Library was designed by architect Sven Ahlbom and opened in 1956. Composed of two staggered buildings, they form a fine example of modern architecture.
A lower part with the exterior wall completely covered in glass, facing the cathedral, originally containing reading and exhibition rooms. A brick upper part containing the main library and the auditorium.
Modern architecture emerged in the 1920s. At the time, various flavors of highly decorative styles of revival architecture had dominated architecture for more than a century.
New materials such as concrete, steel or glass makes new forms of architecture possible. Functional and rational buildings, rectilinear lines, rectangular shapes, ribbon windows, roof terrace and open interior spaces. Modern architecture rejects all decoration and ornament.
Among the best known architects of this modernist trend are Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Peter Behren, Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen, Oscar Niemeyer, Alvar Aalto…
The city library is probably the most important work of Sven Ahlbom who also designed the City Hall (Stadshuset), the office buildings (ASEAS Melkerkontor and Parkhuset), the police station (Polishuset) in Västerås and the Karolinska Hospital (Karolinska sjukhuset) in Stockholm. He was architect of the city of Västerås between 1936 and 1947.
Many other examples of modern architecture can be seen in Västerås.
Västerås library website
Västerås library on Facebook
Guide to modern architecture in Vasteras – Västmanlands läns museum