A storehouse of knowledge

As you enter the library’s wholly innovative world, you will forget all about your e-books.
This amazingly equipped public library in Lelystad is part of the network of Flevomeer libraries in the youngest province of the Netherlands, Flevoland. From 2005 until 2009, numerous experts, including Assen-based Aequo BV Architects, worked on a new concept for the library: inviting, challenging, inspiring new thoughts and ideas, but also ready to provide answers.

Past, present and future

The library’s three zones − past, present and future − are a response to the new concept.
The past or first section of the library, encompassing mostly books (the Book Boulevard), gives answers to questions. The present or middle sphere houses a lot of exhibits and displays presenting current issues to visitors, who are both surprised and inspired also to find a coffee bar, new titles, and information selected by staff. The third area is dedicated to the future. Situated deeper in the library, it consists of work and study places in an environment conducive to giving readers new ideas.

As a ‘storehouse of knowledge’, the library applies retail techniques: departments have their own look and feel. Window dummies wearing T-shirts with adjustable texts are a frequent sight. Images and communications appropriate to the setting serve as signage at strategic points.

Digital signage and shopping baskets

The newly developed aluminium shelving system, with built-in lighting and an airport-like book display trolley for new titles, is starkly innovative. Self-service is the motto everywhere: there are hardly any desks present and staff move and work among the visitors. Digital signage and shopping baskets at the entrance underscore that Lelystad is exploring new ways which are there to be discovered.

Before it was opened, the library had to find a suitable ambience and unique style to attract users and visitors. The design remit was to create the ‘look and feel’ of high-quality department stores.

A durable, hard-wearing, acoustic dampening floor

In terms of the floor finish, the architects wanted durable, hard-wearing, acoustic dampening, and a sturdy, striking design. Another key requirement was sound absorption with very good resilience and elastic recovery properties, a floor capable of making minor indentations disappear after temporary loading is removed.

The Sika® ComfortFloor® System by Sika Netherlands was the solution that met all of these essential requirements, all assets for any busy library. After the new cementitious floor screed was vacuum blast cleaned, its surface was primed with Sikafloor®-161, a solvent-free epoxy primer. The highly flexible intermediate layer was then applied using Sikafloor®-330, a low VOC elastic polyurethane-based material. After curing, Sikafloor®-330 W, a polyurethane-based top coat, was applied to the architects’ bold colour design, to achieve a very smooth, matt, heavy-duty surface.

A sustainable solution

A sustainable solution was delivered and an ambience created where visitors can feel cosy as well as inspired. You can study, you can read, you can find out what you need to know about any topic whatsoever, you can do research, you can socialize and have a cup of tea or coffee. For bookworms a great reading experience was about to begin when the library reached completion in 2009.