I really love to discover and visit new libraries everyday. With that in mind I have done hours of research trying to find the most interesting libraries in the world. As you can see this is the second ranking I have created (read the first one here). I have tried to balance these two lists between architecturally interesting libraries and libraries with interesting collections, but most of these libraries are actually fascinating in both aspects. I’d love to spend a day in any of these libraries, and I hope you’ll agree.
1.SENDAI MEDIATHEQUE, JAPAN
2-1, Kasuga-machi, Aoba-ku
Toyo Ito, 2001
The Mediatheque is located on a tree-lined avenue in Sendai, its transparent facade allowing for the revelation of diverse activities that occur within the building.
The interior of each level of the mediatheque is designed by a different designer. On the ground floor Kazuyo Sejima places the administrative offices behind a translucent screen. The second and third levels house the Shimin Library and include a browsing lounge with internet access with furniture designed by K.T Architecture.
The fourth and fifth levels contain gallery space; one level an exhibition space with moveable walls and the other an exhibition space with mainly fixed walls with rest area seating by Karim Rashid. The sixth level houses the multimedia library dedicated to audio-visual with green and white furniture designed by Ross Lovegrove and a 180 seat cinema.
Mediatheque 9am -10pm (closed December 29 – January 3).
Shimin Library 10am – 8pm (closed Mondays except holiday Mondays, days after national holidays, 4th Thursday every month and December 28 – January 4).
2.VENNESLA LIBRARY AND CULTURE HOUSE, NORWAY
Helen & Hard, 2011
Wood in all its glory: 27 ribs made of prefabricated glue-laminated timber elements and CNC-cut plywood boards are the basic components of this library. The Gaudi-esque timber beams and columns gradually shift shape according to technical and programmatic demands achieving a strong spatial identity well deserved for the cultural centre.
The new library building completed in 2011 has won several architecture prizes and has been praised both within Norway and abroad. Enjoy reading here…