Before the development of a design proposal for a socio-economic café for Tårnby Main Library and a vision plan for the outside areas around the library, Lendager Strategy has worked on initial studies and analysis to set the foundation for the next stages. This has included analyses of users, institutions, stakeholders in the area as well as the possibilities for socio-economic enterprises. The purpose of the studies is to make sure that the future café and physical changes of the outdoor areas are well grounded in the identities and needs of the existing users as well as being flexible enough to accommodate future changes.

The project that the studies lays the groundwork for can be divided into two parts: a socio-economic café that will be integrated in to the existing building and a vision plan for the open spaces around the library. Tårnby Kommune wants the new café to connect the library to the activities happening in the vicinity and that the café is to be operated as a socio-economic enterprise. The intention is to use the library as a catalyst for urban life and the facilitation of social connections.



Danmark, Tårnby


Tårnby Kommune



Dorte Skot-Hansen

Tårnby Hovedbibliotek





Partner in charge: Anders Lendager

Employees: Malene Køster Lasthein


The studies use the potentials for coupling library and urban space as their basis as well as an examination of how an urban space can promote collaboration between institutions. Connecting institutions, users and employees in one urban space has shown great potential in this area due to the concentration of public institutions in the library’s immediate vicinity. There are many common denominators between the institutions, for example overlaps in user base, that make it natural to work towards a tighter integration and collaboration with the health centre, gymnastics club, school, church etc.

The most prominent element in the outdoor space around the library is the large parking lot in front of the main entrance. The space is shared between six different institutions, including the police station. It is also the sunniest open space in the area, but it gives people no reason to spend any time here because the space is solely dedicated to parking and parking infrastructure. At Lendager Strategy we have seen a potential in utilizing the space for different activities throughout the day, week and year, and therefore the parking lot has played a major role in the initial studies.

Due to the underlying concept of using the library as a catalyst for the whole project, the role of the library has been analysed. The library has a very special role in our society, a place that time and time again has shown itself to be a thriving meeting place for citizens, regardless of their social status or financial situation. It is an institution whose basic purpose is to share resources, in the shape of books and texts, giving laymen the possibility to educate themselves freely.

Societies evolve, and so does the role of the library. They are increasingly becoming places that function as platforms for sharing of different kinds, a development that clearly can be seen in the widening of opportunities for lending various resources, both as physical objects and services. At Tårnby Main Library you can gain access to computers, 3D-printers, film screenings, computer games, courses and a whole lot more.

Intentionally or not, the library is a textbook example of functional sharing economic practice. Even though the library as an institution hasn’t developed because of the climate crisis, it will probably show itself to be one of the most important institutions in guiding our society towards a more sustainable future.


For the design proposal for the new café, we have developed a strategy for better resource efficiency – design with recycling – where all elements are founded in possibilities for sharing and reusing resources. Therefore, the café is designed with upcycled building materials, an example of this being a wall created from one of the library’s own waste resources, discarded books.

The Sharing Square also has been designed with upcycled materials and through its design supports sharing of space and resources between motorists, pedestrians, athletes etc.


One of the purposes of the café and the rethinking of the parking lot is to create spaces that support active citizens and institutions. Therefore, the design for the café and the Sharing Square must be based on the inherent potentials for sharing resources that are available in the area, as well as creating opportunities for communities based on sharing principles to arise and thrive. With the programming of the outdoor spaces the institutions are now able to move more of their activities into the public realm and open up to the outside world, something that is difficult presently because of closed facades and the lack of space in the right places.

“der skal være lyst og venligt, måske borde udenfor, hvor man kan nyde en kop kaffe”

“Man skal kunne sidde dejligt, i bløde lænestole. Det skal være uprætentiøst.”

“jeg kunne godt tænke mig en kop kaffe”

“en café ville forlænge tiden jeg bruger på biblioteket”

“jeg skriver opgave på biblioteket – med en café ville jeg kunne arbejde udistraheret”

“et sted man kan kombinere frokost og leg. Der skulle være en hyggelig indretning med plads til børn”


Studies have shown that vulnerable unemployed people that become employed save the society millions of kroner every year, and in this way socio-economic companies are basically an economic boon for us all. Naturally, the business model must also be profitable for the company itself, and therefore we have looked into the possibilities that are workable in this specific situation in Tårnby. Based on articles, publications, physical location, the wishes of Tårnby Main Library for the daily use of the café as well as information gathered from other existing socio-economic enterprises, a robust business model for the café in the library has been developed. A model that gives something back to the local community, enhances the library and the surrounding area and adds value to the life of those people who will work there. When in function, we expect the café to work as an exemplary case that can act as inspiration for other institutions throughout the country.