Books, books, and yet more books...

Verwaltungsbereich Albertinum, Dresden

Deutsche Werkstätten services:
Interior furnishing, outfitting of interiors with loose furniture

Completion 2010


Making sure that books are stored in conditions that befit their status has always been one of the more satisfying jobs taken on by Deutsche Werkstätten. The Hellerau-based company has fitted many metres of shelving in the Albertinum, home of the Dresden State Art Collections, sometimes covering entire walls. In the main library, for example, there are 15 rows of shelves extending six metres from floor to ceiling. The most treasured items in the library – huge folios – are kept particularly safe in a cabinet with sliding glass doors. Deutsche Werkstätten has also supplied shelving for the administrative offices as well as for the Gerhard Richter Archive.
So is there more to a bookshelf than meets the eye? The job of an interior furnisher is like that of a professional actor: the latter is able to convince the audience to suspend their disbelief and forget that it is really just a ‘show’, while the former manages to conceal any sign of all the hard work that has gone into creating the fittings and furniture. As exemplified by the unobtrusive bookshelves in the Albertinum. Before we could even start, we had to think long and hard about how to construct a shelf unit that can bear the weight of ponderous volumes while still looking elegant and graceful. The surface also needed to withstand heavy wear over many years to come. The decision was made to use lightweight yet heavy-duty MDF panels as the base material and to cover this with a high-grade laminate. Deutsche Werkstätten was also given the job of equipping the office areas in the Albertinum with functional desks, swivel chairs and seating for visitors. The team from Hellerau advised the architects of Staab Architekten from Berlin on the choice available and then, in their capacity as manufacturers and suppliers of high-quality designer furniture, conjured up the appropriate items.

Text: Deutsche Werkstätten
Photo: Sven Döring