The Hansa Library is one of the most popular libraries in the Mitte district. The building, an architectural gem from the 1950s, was designed by Werner Düttmann in 1956/57 and is now a listed building. But it is threatened with closure.
The Hansa Library was built as part of the Interbau in 1957. Its construction was commissioned to the then Government Building Councillor Werner Düttmann, who a short time later also designed the nearby Academy of Arts. While a shopping centre with a cinema (now the GRIPS Theatre) was built at the northern exit of the Hansaplatz underground station, a cultural centre for the new quarter was to be created with the library at the southern end of the station. The building, with its atrium-like courtyard in the middle, was based on the idea of building a house that would be in direct exchange with its surroundings. The covered connecting corridor between the underground station and the library leads directly to the glass door of the main entrance. The courtyard, designed by Düttmann as a reading garden, is directly connected to the reading area inside by retractable windows.
However, the further use of the house as a library is currently in question. According to the SPD, the Hansabibliothek and Bruno-Lösche Bibliothek are to be merged in Perleberger Straße to save money. The site of the former Schultheiss brewery is under discussion as a new library location, where a new shopping centre will be built and rooms could be rented. It is controversial whether the district can actually save money. After all, the Hansabiliothek belongs to the district itself and generates a plus.
Despite major protests against the closure plans, which included an online petition for over 2,300 signatures in just seven days, the SPD continues to stick to its plans. A corresponding application is to be made after the summer break in the BVV. Should this find a majority, the Hansaviertel will not only lose a library building valued throughout Berlin, but also an essential building block of the Interbau 57, for whose farm heritage an application for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage was only recently signed.
translated with deepl