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New building for Ernst Abbe Library and Citizens' Services officially opened


The move is complete and operations can begin. The new building for the Ernst Abbe Library and the City of Jena's citizen services was officially opened today, Friday. "This marks the completion of the largest construction project of the past ERDF funding period," said State Secretary Prof. Dr. Barbara Schönig in the presence of more than 300 invited guests and employees at the new location on Engelplatz. "The Thuringian Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture supported the project with over 23 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the urban development funding. The most important functions of the new building - education, culture and administration - are now united in one place in the heart of Jena. Last but not least, the new building is a great urban redevelopment project that will have a lasting impact on Jena's cityscape." With a total investment volume of around 39 million euros, it is by far the largest single project to promote sustainable urban development in the expired ERDF funding period.

Thanks for the enormous efforts of all those involved

Lord Mayor Dr. Thomas Nitzsche thanked everyone involved for their enormous efforts - especially in the last few weeks on the home straight. "We are now opening a new chapter. The modern and cosmopolitan ambience of this building will leave a lasting impression on the citizens. But they are not the only ones who will clearly benefit from the changes. The new premises will also enable our colleagues to work better together, use synergies and optimize processes thanks to new digital solutions and a progressive way of working," says Nitzsche. "The building with its many central citizen services will have a lasting impact on the cityscape, as the city center will be extended to the south. Together with the theater forecourt and the Carmelite monastery, it will create a visitor magnet that will revitalize the city center."

Beate Wachenbrunner, Plant Manager of the municipal real estate company Kommunale Immobilien Jena, is proud of her project team and the planning offices and construction companies involved: "This special new construction project could only succeed because everyone pooled their ideas and expertise, because they have worked hard and put in a lot of energy together over the last few years. The future users can expect not only a modern, but also a sustainable environment with high structural quality. The fact that we, as the client, can now hand over such a jewel to the Ernst Abbe Library and the City of Jena's citizen services - and thus to the people of our city - fills us with great joy."

Jena-based architecture and engineering firm pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG is responsible for the design of the new building. In 2017, it emerged as the winner of the architectural competition organized by the city of Jena together with Stock Landschaftsarchitekten. "We are delighted to be making an important contribution to the reorganization of Jena's urban structure with the new building, so that a culturally vibrant and pulsating place can be created here," explained Stefan Rabe, branch manager of pbr Jena, who is the architect and project manager in charge of the project.

Modern gateway to the administration

The building will house the city's citizen services on 2,000 square meters - as a contact point for important, frequent administrative services. "As a central service facility, the Citizens' Services department acts as a gateway to the administration," emphasized Olaf Schroth, Head of Citizens' Services, Immigration and Residence. "Citizens expect a professional quality of service. The prerequisite for this was to expand and improve the quality of the space with the new building," said Schroth. Citizens' needs are now served in a more digital, modern and centralized way.

A place that offers space for urban society

Covering a total of 3,800 square meters, the new Ernst Abbe Library building offers numerous opportunities for learning and creative work, communication and leisure activities. "Our aim with the move to the new building was to create a multifunctional place that offers an experience and meets the need for face-to-face communication, thus meeting the requirements of digital society. A place that offers space for urban society," said Katja Müller, Director of the Ernst Abbe Library. "With over 500 different seating options, with areas that meet the habits and needs of different target groups, a new meeting place has been created in the Ernst Abbe Library. A lively, consumer-free place of communication and reading for the urban community. A library where everyone is welcome, a new favorite place for ALL Jena residents."

The focus is on the areas of civic participation and the children's and youth library, as well as the further development of the media collection towards digital and interactive learning opportunities. Two children's areas and a separate youth area invite you to browse and linger, while the extended opening hours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. are particularly convenient for families.

The Ernst Abbe Library will open its doors to visitors for the first time next Monday at 10 am. In the week around April 15, the team invites all interested parties to various events in the new domicile. The first appointments in the area of citizen services have already taken place yesterday and today at the new location. Regular operations with a full range of appointments will also start here on Monday.

Program in the Ernst Abbe Library:

11.04.23 | 19:30: Musical reading - Filigree worlds of sound with Dana Schwarz-Haderek and Steve Schubert

12.04.23 | 7:30 pm: Musical reading - Kathrin Groß-Striffler with Ahmed Hajjar

13.04.23 | 10 am to 5 pm: Opening party with family program

16.04.23 | 7:30 pm: Book premiere "Helene Petrenz and the Ernst Abbe Library Jena" with Andrea Nikolaizig

The regular program for children and young people starts again after the Easter vacations:

Wednesdays 4 to 7 pm: MINTwoch (experimenting with Witelo e.V. and then free tinkering)
Thursdays 3 to 6 pm: Gaming (gaming on the games console for children up to the age of 12)
Fridays 4 to 4.30 pm: Read aloud (reading aloud for children aged 3 and over)
Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Tinkering (experimenting, crafting and building for young and old)