Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Library Look..unique architecture

While privately lamenting the lack of funds to redecorate my school libraries - some non-institutional paint colour, a reading area, etc.-I let my mind wander and imagine how I could re-carpet  repaint, build new shelves, move network drops to rearrange the computers, do something/anything with those hideous ceiling tiles and on, and on...   Then I started picturing how to make the library building itself something that would stand out.  Not being an architect, I wondered what others had done.

Check out these custom libraries..would you like to have one of these spaces near you?

1) Biblioteca Sandro Penna, Italy

Photo credit:

While this first reminded me of a tube from a hamster habitat, I like the uniqueness.

2. Stuttgart City Library

Photo credit: Axel Brunst Photography
Putting The Focus On Books:  The Stuttgart City Library looks like an Apple store designed by M.C. Escher. On the outside, it's a perfect cube whose walls align exactly with the four compass points. On the inside, it's pure white with sharp angles and a soaring five-story atrium surrounded by Escher-esque stairs and rectangular furniture. Since opening in 2011, the ultra-modern library—designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi—has been praised as one of the world's most gorgeous libraries and disparaged for its harshness and sterility. The design lacks the coziness that some people look for in a library but the stark whiteness of the environment itself puts all the focus on the colorful books lining the shelves... and there's no denying it's beautiful.

3. Vasconcelos Library

Entering The Matrix:Mexico City's 409,000-square-foot Vasconcelos Library is known as the Megabiblioteca (megalibrary), making it sound as much like Godzilla's arch nemesis as a haven for bibliophiles. Alberto Kalach, who designed the building after winning Mexico's first international architecture competition in more than a century, created a space that appears to have been taken straight out of a Matrix-inspired dream—with books on crystal shelves that seem to be suspended in mid-air, huge industrial steel fittings, and five grid-like levels with turquoise tinted glass floors. The 500,000 volumes overlook an open courtyard featuring enormous striped whale bones floating from the ceiling. Of course. The whole shebang is surrounded by a massive botanical garden.

4. Plans for the national library of the Czech Republic

(image via: Treehugger)
The new national library of the Czech Republic is still in its initial design stages but from the look of the plans, it’s anything but bookish. Materials to be used include unpolished white marble, mirror-finished stainless steel and an abundance of new greenery. A three dimensional construct for the third millennium, the library will have a working capacity of 10 million volumes when completed.
(image via: Treehugger)
Set on the edge of the huge Letna Park in Prague, the library is said to be democratic architecture in a democratic state, as Czechs express long-suppressed desires for freedom of thought that are uniquely suited to the concept of a library.

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