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Inspiration> Topics> An old face, but young at heart

An old face, but young at heart

After a painstaking restoration, the centuries-old, listed Kornhaus in Freiberg is now home to the town's library – a refined fusion of a historic building with contemporary finishes.

  • This historic building has been renovated

    For over 500 years, these eaves protected grain and cereal; now that this historic building has been renovated, it houses thousands of items of reading material © Katharina Wegelt and Christian Leischner

Historic buildings are the jewels in the crown that distinguish any given town from another. Preservation orders mean that such historic buildings can be treated with only the lightest of touches, making contemporary use of the building often a complicated and delicate matter. This is precisely the problem that the town of Freiberg (DE) faced.
The Kornhaus, erected at the beginning of the 16th century, tells a fascinating story: a former grain store for the town, it was initially integrated into the fortifications; it was then used as riding stable which was subsequently converted into a warehouse and intermittently used for gymnastics. Now, however, after 5 years' of work and more than seven million euros expenditure, this historic building has been turned into the town's modern library.

As all of the floors were uneven, each individual shelving unit was specifically designed for its precise location.

The solid wood of the centuries-old eaves now stands in proud contrast to the austere bookshelves, which have been made from EGGER chipboard and finished in W1000 Premium White. At first glance they give the appearance of being common-or-garden shelves, but on closer inspection you soon notice that they actually soar through the ceiling, spanning two floors. This renovation has sympathetically retained the original character of this historic building.
The historic Kornhaus in Freiberg has been successfully and lovingly resuscitated and now boasts a contemporary heart.

Each bookshelf has its own special place in the library, into which it slots perfectly – some of them soar high enough to span two floors of this historic building. © René Jungnickel

Note

All shown decors are reproductions.

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