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10 Libraries Worth Visiting

August 11, 2014 /

Tama-Art-University-Library-Toyo-Ito-1-photo-Iwan-Baan.jpg Tama Art University Library in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Iwan Baan

The library is fighting for its survival. The digital revolution has struck a hard blow to the library's historic status of being the only place of accumulated knowledge. Luckily, a number of contemporary projects seem determined in wanting to ensure the continued relevance of the library as an institution and societal focal point.

Projects such as OMA's  Seattle Public Library and COBE+Transform's  BIBLIOTEKET in Copenhagen have dared to venture beyond the monofunctional program of the traditional library and made it a community center, a place for meetings and events.

Snøhetta's Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Dominique Perrault's  Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris are large-scale landmarks of hardcore geometric form, whereas Toyo Ito has sought to create a fluid spatial experience with a seemingly chaotic grid of arches in his Tama Art University Library in Tokyo.

All in all, the library shouldn't get pronounced dead just yet.
    

Seattle-Public-Library-OMA-12.jpg

Seattle Public Library
OMA
Seattle, Washington, USA

Musashino Art University Library by Sou Fujimoto in Tokyo, Japan. Photo courtesy Sou Fujimoto Architects

Musashino Art University Library
Sou Fujimoto
Tokyo, Japan

Bibliotheca Alexandrina by Snøhetta in Alexandria, Egypt. Aerial view. Photo: Ibrahim Nafie Courtesy Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Snøhetta
Alexandria, Egypt

Tama Art University Library. Exterior view from the north-east. Photo by Iwan Baan

Tama Art University Library
Toyo Ito & Associates
Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan

the_morgan_library_2.jpg

The Morgan Library
Renzo Piano
New York, New York, USA

New Library, University of Aberdeen by schmidt hammer lassen architects in Aberdeen, Scotland. Exterior view. Photo courtesy schmidt hammer lassen

New Library, University of Aberdeen
schmidt hammer lassen architects
Aberdeen, Scotland

9-the_black_diamond.jpg

The Black Diamond
schmidt hammer lassen architects
Copenhagen, Denmark

BIBLIOTEKET / THE LIBRARY by COBE + Transform in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: arcspace

BIBLIOTEKET / THE LIBRARY
COBE + Transform
Copenhagen, Denmark

Perrault-Bibliotheque-Nationale-de-France.jpg

Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Dominique Perrault
Paris, France

Lewis Science Library by Gehry Partners, LLP, in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, Photo: Thomas Mayer

Lewis Science Library
Gehry Partners, LLP
Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Last updated: September 05, 2014

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