In 2013 Hoskins Architects won first prize in an invited competition to redesign the interior spaces of the listed Berlin City Library. The building was first opened to the public in October 1966 and was designed by Heinz Mehlan in a style typical of its era, with an atmosphere of openness, transparency and clarity. Over time, these spatial qualities began to erode as various accretions and alterations were made to the internal spaces.
The new design, completed in 2015, re-establishes these original design qualities, while providing the modern public facilities required by a modern municipal library. The redevelopment includes: new wayfinding signage, a new reception area, press display, reading area and café. Recent additions to the space were removed and replaced with new low-level bespoke timber furniture. These work harmoniously with the original materials, recreating the sight lines through to the courtyard, thus restoring the original qualities of lightness and transparency.