6 Marvelously Modern Libraries

February 9th, 2013 Permalink

In America, February 9 is National Libraries Day. Worldwide, public libraries can be found in almost every tiny town and massive metropolis. To celebrate National Libraries Day, we wanted to salute a few modern city libraries, not just in America, that definitely breakout of the stereotypes of being musty places with shushing librarians. [12 Photos]

Stuttgart city library in Stuttgart, Germany

Architecturally, the Stuttgart City Library in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of the most modern libraries in the world. Books are the main focus here and stand out in the otherwise almost sterile-white surroundings. There are eight floors, each devoted to a specific subjects. 1st floor is devoted to music. 2nd floor is the children’s section. 3rd floor is the life section. 4th floor is the knowledge section. 5th floor is the world section. Of the 6th floor, the library said “Literature Section 6th Floor and Gallery 4th Floor, 6th Floor and 7th Floor.” The 8th floor is the art section. The ground floor is “a meeting place for authors, artists and academics from all over the world.” It also has computer showroom: “Computers and all digital technologies are alphabet-based, just like the library.” The showroom, “with its top-spec computers is a room for discourse, a laboratory, creative world and digital architecture.” Photo #1 by Axel Brunst

Alone in the inner courtyard of the new Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder Platz in Stuttgart, Germany

Alone in the inner courtyard of the new the Stuttgart City Library, Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder Platz designed by Yi Architects. “The building takes the form of cube with an edge length of 45 meters” (147.6 feet), Arch Daily explained. The library opened in October 2011 and has an area of 20,200m² (217,431 square feet) and a program area of 11,500m² (123,785 sq ft). Photo #2 by Thomas Guignard


Jose Vasconcelos Library, Mexico City, is also one of the most modern libraries in the world

Jose Vasconcelos Library, Mexico City, one of the most modern libraries in the world. According to Biblioteca Vasconcelos, is “composed of more than 575,000 books, placed over 40,000 meters (13,1233.6 feet) of shelf hanging open to the public; the titles comprise 10 areas of knowledge.” It also has a kids room, auditorium that fits 500 people, a media room and musical instruments like pianos, guitars and violins for anyone who wants to practice. Photo #3 by Eneas De Troya

Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City has a capacity of up to 5000 people a day, and 1.825 million visitors a year, picture includes huge hanging whale bones

Taken from a different spot to show the huge hanging whale bones. According to Vasconcelos Library, the architectural work was “designed by Mexican architect Alberto Kalach, is an enclosure bright thanks to the play of transparencies that give the ceiling and walls of glass. It has three levels above and a ground floor, and is an admirable example of modern architecture.” The Vasconcelos Library “consists of 3 buildings lined with six levels each. The enclosure can have a maximum capacity of up to 5000 people a day, which is a flow of 1.825 million visitors a year.” It has parking for 325 cars. Photo #4 by Pedro Vásquez Colmenares

DOK, Delft Public Library, in Delft Holland

DOK, Delft Public Library, in Delft, Holland, has more than 862,000 books, 16,000 magazine subscriptions and its own museum. It’s called a “library concept center” and is filled with bright colors. It offers high tech such as sending a text message as soon as you enter that says, “Wel­come to the most mod­ern library in the world.” Photo #5 by Nick Sherman

Netherlands, Famous DOK Library Listening Pods

Famous DOK Library Listening Pods. Besides all the books, DOK collections contain “over 3000 CDs, 3400 DVDs (movies and TV series) in various genres; more than 4,000 pieces (1960 + music); more than 400 newspapers and magazines from home and abroad; 4500 sheet music bands, many daisyrom and audio CD audio books; Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games and consoles.” Photo #6 by MarekThi

Seattle Central Library

Seattle Central Library‘s “total program area now sprawls to 362,987 square feet.” There are 1 million items in the library’s collection, 9,906 shelves devoted to books, with a total capacity for more than 1.45 million books and materials. It also has Wi-Fi and more than 400 computers for public use. Photo #7 by Jeff Wheeler

Seattle Central Library has 11 levels

Seattle Central Library has 11 levels and attracts 8,000 visitors daily. The modern and award-winning architecture was designed by Rem Koolhaas. Libraries are one of the few places where your digital footprints are not tracked. The American Library Association said, “In the battle for privacy, libraries are the front lines. The freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy. It ensures a person’s right to gain knowledge and form opinions according to his or her own conscience.” Photo #8 by Kees de Vos

The Black Diamond, The Royal Library, Denmark 'Det Kongelige Bibliotek'

The Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen is also know as the Black Diamond. The modern design was created by Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen. The new building looks like two black cubes slightly tilted over the street. In the middle, there is an eight-story atrium which has walls of glass so visitors can see the sea on one side and the shore on the other. Photo #9 by Bo Nielsen

Inside the Black Diamond Royal Library in Copenhagen Denmark

The Royal Danish Library holds all works that have been printed in Denmark since the 17th century and nearly all known Danish printed works back to the first Danish book printed in 1482. The new building opened in 1999, but “between 1968 and 1978, the library saw one of the largest book thefts in history. Someone had managed to steal some 1,600 historical books worth more than $50 million.” Photo #10 by Wojtek Gurak

Biblioteca Sandro Penna in Perugia, Italy, think pink UFO then picture that flying saucer as a library

Think pink UFO that glows at night, then picture that flying saucer as a library; this is the Biblioteca Sandro Penna in Perugia, Italy. It is open-space design by architect Italo Rota that incorporates natural light with colorful decor. While it might not be as massive or as high tech as the others, its shape definitely conveys are much more modern, and unique, look than most libraries. Photo #11 by Perugia-City.com

Bibliomediateca Sandro Penna

Inside the Municipal Library Sandro Penna. According to the Goethe Institut, “The library is a fully glazed pink disk that is illuminated at night and is spread over three floors, all equipped with multimedia presentations, where you can surf the Internet, listen to music, watch a movie or simply write a text using programs Office.” It holds “19,800 volumes – 26 magazines – 177 videotapes – 1300 DVD – 81 audiobooks – 50 books in the body 16/18 for the visually impaired – 673 CDs” as well as “collection of 1,000 vinyl records, classical music, opera, Italian pop music up to 60 years or so”. Photo #12 by Perugia-City.com


To Americans: Happy National Libraries Day!

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