Archive for ‘LibrarY’

January 23, 2012

Celtic Museum | kadawittfeldarchitektur

Architects: kadawittfeldarchitektur
Project Managers: Oliver Venghaus (architecture), Ben Beckers (exhibition design)
Client: Federal State of Hessen represented by HMWK and HBM
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 2,190 sqm (GFA)
Photographs: Werner Huthmacher

This project is a museum for Celtic art, and is in direct proximity to a historic burial mound. Similar to an excavated archaeological find, the metal body of the museum juts out from the landscape and forms a counterpart to the burial mound. More of a mysterious object itself rather than architecture, the museum should be stumbled upon by its visitors as a marker of landscape discovery.

The Celtic Museum is a clearly contoured and distinct volume, blending in with the surrounding landscape. Partly inserted into the slope, it projects itself towards the burial mound. Its vital function as an element of the landscape, the museum building amplifies the burial mound’s leading role. Underneath the main volume, one finds the foyer and the café and adjoining rooms as well. Here begins and ends the exploration of the museum’s archaeological trail.

A staircase-ramp guides the visitor into the exhibition. In the end, one finds a panoramic window, offering an impressive view of the burial mound, incorporating it into the exhibition itself. The roof acts also as an observation deck onto the scenic landscape and the skies above – so that the surroundings can be “discovered.”

December 27, 2011

new stuttgart library | yi architects

‘new stuttgart library’ by yi architects in stuttgart, germany
image courtesy yi architects

korean-born germany-based architect eun young yi has completed the design of ‘new stuttgart library’,
a cubic facility conceived as a part of the master development plan for the european quarter in stuttgart,
germany. influenced by the structure and organization of the ancient pantheon, the design features
a linear-shaped ‘heart’ which serves as a central, multi-storey meeting space that draws in natural light
through the roof.

exterior view
image courtesy yi architects

clear and geometric in volume, the library’s exterior is defined by a series of regular openings
that provide a grid-like effect to the elevations. an arrangement of 9 x 9 glass bricks held within
a concrete frame serves as an outer shell to a double facade which shelters a narrow promenade space
circumscribing the building. four entrances which correspond to the size and shape of the grid
provide access points on the ground floor and lead collectively to the circular entrance hall and ‘heart’.

grid-like facade
image courtesy yi architects

promenade space
image courtesy yi architects

continuing on the language and motif of the facade, the ‘heart’ of the library features a series of
small interior windows that wrap around the four walls and ceiling of the multi-storey volume.
a central oculus located above a 1 m2 ground fountain illuminates the interior while providing a
visual focus point for the white space. located above the skylight is the library itself which takes on
a funnel-shaped form through five staggered levels. the gallery hall is connected through a series of
staircases that are arranged to promote a spiralling circulation around the books.

interior view of ‘heart’
image courtesy yi architects

funnel-shaped library
image © vipgavin

images © vipgavin

sectional model
image courtesy yi architects

site map
image courtesy yi architects

floor plan / level 0
(1) ‘heart’
(2) entrance hall
(3) offices
(4) sorting area
(5) entrance
image courtesy yi architects

floor plan / level +8
(1) reading room
(2) media presentation
(3) workstations
(4) graphotek
(5) cafeteria
(6) offices
(7) sorting area

image courtesy yi architects

image courtesy yi architects

image courtesy yi architects

November 27, 2011

Kenmore Library | Weinstein A|U


Architects: Weinstein A|U
Location: Kenmore, 
Design Team: Matt Aalfs, Ed Weinstein
Project Size: 19,000 sqf
Project Year: 2007-2011
Photographs: Lara Swimmer

Landscape: Swift Company LLC
Structural: Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA)
Civil: Springline Design LLC
MEP: WSP Flack & Kurtz
Interiors: Weinstein A|U
Contractor: Sierra Construction
Client: King County Library System

The Kenmore Library serves a suburban community largely bypassed by recent redevelopment.  Located in an emerging downtown core that is a mix of 1960s retail buildings, surface parking, and a busy highway, the library responds to needs for community space and integration of public and commercial uses.

To accommodate changes in the continuing evolution of library services, the library design provides a flexible, interconnected, and adaptable floor plan, with minimal fixed obstructions limiting internal organization. As a gesture of civic inclusiveness, the reading room is transparent and open, with continuous glazing on the public facades and a delicate tension-rod roof truss system which clear-spans the 75’ x 90’ space.

Optimum solar orientation and central skylights fill the reading room with balanced and diffused natural light. Relatively solid enclosures of brick and wood at either end of the reading room contain library support functions and private study areas. A raised floor system provides HVAC, power, and data distribution, with public artwork integrated into the floor cavity. Extensive daylighting, LED fixtures, reclaimed wood, and regionally-sourced materials and furniture contribute to sustainability goals.

In response to local aspirations for a pedestrian-friendly downtown, the library connects to the street with an entry plaza and submerges parking beneath the building. Parallel to the street, the library extends to the property line, anticipating future party-walls. A garden of native plants and sculpted landforms buffers the reading room from the highway, providing rainwater infiltration that reduces surface run-off into nearby Lake Washington.

Text provided by

October 9, 2011

Biscay Statutory Library | IMB Arquitectos


Architects: IMB Arquitectos / Gloria Iriarte, Eduardo Múgica, Agustín de la Brena
Location: , Spain
Project Year: 2007
Client: Diputación Foral de Bizkaia, Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia
Project Staff: Pedro Múgica, David Salvador, Mariano Ortega, Josu Iriarte, Gorka Apraiz, Iñigo Barberena, José Luis Olaeta, Felix Aguiriano, Diego Poza, Iban González
Project Consultants: Ingeniería INARGEST (Structure), Javier Mendieta (Air Conditioning)
Main Contractor: UTE Balzola Urazca
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman

The project, resulting from an open competition of ideas, influences a complete unit of Bilbao’s urban grid. The area includes an existing building, which has had to be reformed, and an open space, permitting a new construction in response to the demand of the client.

The main argument of this project is to organize the “old” and the “new” in three constructed volumes which belongs to the three major, yet clearly separated functions. The existing building has been reformed to achieve open and flexible interior spaces, which will be used as public halls for reading and research.

The new construction includes two new built up volumes. The first one, covered with stone, houses administration. The second one serves to store the books and is designed like a container which expresses and symbolizes the function of the new library to the city.

The texture of the books is used as an excuse to establish a cultural reclaim and the evident dialogue between the interior of the building and the public space in the outside. During the day the image of the printed serigraphs, which are representing the written content of the books, are predominating. At night the artificial illumination intensifies the dominance of the books stored in the shelves.

The storage building extends over a foil of moving water which represents the progress of knowledge in evolution. It is materialized on top of a glass surface which allows the light to pass through to an auditorium in the basement. The architectural ensemble is formed around the courtyards, which are contributing natural light to the habitable spaces.

Text provided by IMB Arquitectos


August 20, 2011

Surrey City Centre Library | Bing Thom Architects

The new  City Centre Library, designed by Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects(BTA), is set to open on September 24, 2011. This new building marks the next phase of a major civic investment in the area that will continue the transformation of downtown Surrey, from sprawling suburb to the Region’s next great downtown, which began with BTA’s Central City project. Creating dynamic environments that look to the future of Surrey is nothing new to BTA. Nearly a decade ago, the firm designed the incredibly vibrant Central City, which sits down the street from the new Surrey Library. The architectural and social innovation evident at Central City—a fusion of office space, a shopping center and a university—is further exemplified in BTA’s library design.

Architect: Bing Thom Architects Inc.
Location: 10350 University Drive, Surrey, , Canada
Project Team: Bing Thom, Michael Heeney, Venelin Kokalov, Ling Meng, Francis Yan, John Camfield, Shinobu Homma, Robert Sandilands, Marcos Hui, Lisa Potopsingh, Harald Merk, Berit Wooge, Dan Du, Michael Motlagh, Nicole Hu
Landscape Architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 82,000 sqf
Photographs: Courtesy of Bing Thom Architects

Structural Engineer: Fast + Epp
Mechanical Engineer: AME Consulting Group
Electrical Engineer: Applied Engineering Solutions
Civil Engineer: CitiWest Consulting Ltd.
Geotechnical: Trow Consulting Engineers Ltd. (now exp Services
Building Code: LMDG Building Code Consultants
Traffic: Bunt & Associates
Quantity Surveying/Costing: LEC Quantity Surveying Inc.
Building Envelope: Morrison Hershfield
Acoustic: Brown & Strachan
General Contractor: Dominion Fairmile Construction Ltd. (now Stuart
Olson Dominion)
Project Manager: Turnbull Construction Services Ltd.

The Design of a 21st-Century Library
BTA understands that the role of the library is changing and that the book collection is no longer the central focus. With advances in easily available electronic information and inter-library loans, providing the appropriate spaces for evolving library activities is now the priority. These activities range from the traditional research and education roles, to the need for libraries to become a point of connection and even a gathering place in the community. As a result, BTA’s design includes a diverse mixture of large interconnected “high” spaces with generous natural light and “low” more intimate spaces to accommodate the book stacks and individual activities like studying and writing. These spaces are modulated throughout the complex, and are revealed as patrons explore the building. For instance, one of the most dramatic spaces is the “living room,” a casual reading area adjacent to massive windows overlooking a future public plaza to the east, is in a double height space that is not apparent until you reach the third floor. In all cases, the spaces have been deliberately kept informal to make the library feel like an extension of the patron’s home. As Thom says, “The design evolves out of the need to provide a space for reading, studying, and above all, gathering as a community. This building is very flexible and will accommodate all of these purposes, but does so in a way that will intrigue and entice the users through the building.”

The library encourages the gathering of diverse groups of people from the surrounding community. Its design features large windows, a welcoming entrance with clear sight lines that allow visitors to quickly orient themselves in the space, and an upward winding central atrium and two skylights that allow natural light into the building. The form of the building is inspired by the curvature of the adjacent University Drive, with an added dynamism provided by outward-sloping walls. While seemingly complex, by utilizing state of the art computer modeling software, the architects were able to ensure that the concrete formwork was highly efficient and easy to construct. The exterior concrete structure is carefully detailed as the final surface, thereby eliminating the need for expensive building cladding. Designed to LEED standards, the outward sloped walls also provide solar shading.

Using 21st-Century Technology, including Social Media, as a Design Tool
The $36 million library project was funded as part of Canada’s Federal Infrastructure program, with costs shared by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Because of the time constraints placed on these federally funded projects, the firm went head-first into the use of social media to circumvent the standard (and lengthy) community consultation process. The end result is a dynamic design—one that recognizes and supports the changing role of libraries and that incorporates the needs of the client and the ideas of the community – but that also is coming in on time and on budget.

BTA’s social media ingenuity was born out of the need to compensate for a substantially shortened standard public workshop phase. The project was awarded to BTA in November 2009, the groundbreaking took place just a few months later in February 2010, and the opening is scheduled for September 2011 –in total less than two years from start to finish. Traditional public meetings can take months, so BTA developed a social media strategy using blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr to speed things up. BTA worked with Surrey librarians to create a blog on the library website which, in turn, was linked to a Flickr site where BTA posted photos of libraries and other spaces the firm liked. Members of the community were encouraged to post comments and photos; those who did not have a computer or experience with social media went to their local libraries where librarians helped them voice their opinion.

In this way, BTA was able to communicate with a broad range of stakeholders in a short period of time, ensuring that the design got off on the right track. These open, collaborative systems online were also used by BTA and the Surrey Public Library to extend the reach of public meetings and “Meet the Architect” talks to the young and diverse population of Surrey that might not have otherwise voiced their opinions in typical Town Hall forums.

“Surrey has a young population – often families with two working parents who don’t have time to go to public meetings,” says BTA Principal Michael Heeney. “We realized early that it would take us months and months to gather information from the public in the usual ways. Social media made it easy for us to engage in a dialogue with Surrey’s large and disparate community. It was a very eye opening process for us.”

The resulting, innovative design of the library reflects this collaboration, and incorporates the needs of the surrounding community, as well as the demand for libraries to adapt to the way we live and work today. With a grand, center atrium and the requisite private study areas, the design includes a large community multipurpose room that will accommodate 120 people, a computer classroom, a meditation room, and a teen lounge and gaming area.

The virtual “workshops” resulted in several aspects of the design that “might not have been incorporated otherwise,” explains Heeney. Combining both the old and the new techniques of public engagement, BTA teamed up with students from the local high school to create, share, and discuss possible furniture designs and layouts for the Library. Among these are: a pair of special listening music chairs that allow users to preview library media or enjoy their own iPod music in privacy and comfort; a “dinner” table for group work; an LCD-screen TV with comfortable chairs around it; and bean bags throughout. Actual workshops with younger audiences resulted in several additions to the interior, including “a place to color and write,” “a clock to see if we are late,” and “big couches for mom to wait for me.” In addition, custom millwork has been incorporated to promote parent-child reading, interaction, curiosity, play and discovery. Ongoing photo and information streams about the library are building public interest and excitement long before the doors open.

Planning for Future Growth
Surrey is the second largest and fastest-growing city in British Columbia. In fact, the population is expected to outgrow the originally proposed 65,000-square-foot library in a span of about five years. As a result, BTA encouraged the city to future-proof the five-level building by constructing 83,000 square feet now. The excess space will be leased by neighboring Simon Fraser University to operate their Continuing Education program until the library can grow into it. Similarly, there is a full level being built underground, which can later be integrated into an underground civic parkade, another strategy for future expansion and integration with the community.

A New Downtown Continues to Grow
This new building marks the next phase of a major civic investment in the area that will continue the transformation of downtown Surrey from sprawling suburb to the Region’s next great downtown, a process that began with BTA’s Central City project, completed in 2004. This new civic development will ultimately include a new City Hall, a large urban plaza, underground civic parkade, performing arts centre, and additional commercial space – all of which will be arranged adjacent to one of the most intensively used transit hubs in Metro Vancouver. As Bing Thom states, “Surrey City Centre Library is the beginning of a new civic initiative that’s going to further establish the downtown–continuing what we started with our Central City project–for this growing and important city.”

August 17, 2011

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway | Tod Williams + Billie Tsien

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (8) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (2) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (1) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (3) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (5) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (6) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (7) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (4) © The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien (9) © The Barnes Foundation

The last chance to see the Barnes Foundation’s artwork in its original setting has passed. It is now being prepared for the move to its new home in downtown . Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien designed the new building for the Barnes Foundation with respect for its strong history and as a reflective addition of the foundation’s mission. The building is scheduled for completion in late 2011.

The Barnes Foundation was initiated by Albert Barnes in the early 20th century to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts” and horticulture. The foundation has been located in Merion, Pennsylvania for almost a century where Barnes built a gallery around his collection of French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern paintings.

Barnes himself arranged the paintings for display in Merion, and retaining the original placements is a priority for the foundation as well as the architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. In order to accomplish this, the galleries in Philadelpia will replicate the scale, proportion and configuration of the Merion galleries, but will benefit from a glass canopy to allow in natural light for improved viewing conditions. Other spaces in the new building are entirely original to the Foundation’s expansion.

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects combined the galleries with spaces to compliment the secondary teaching and horticultural missions of the Barnes Foundation. Classrooms and interior gardens neighbor gallery spaces on each level and there are vast public gardens surround the exterior. Additional program new to the Philadelphia expansion includes a café, auditorium, special exhibitions gallery, and facilities for painting conservation and restoration.

Along with the preservation of gallery designs from Marion, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien worked with Olin landscape architects to recall the Marion gardens in the new site. The design concept by the architects is a “ gallery in a garden” accomplished through the beautifully designed public gardens surrounding the building sited in the center.

The grey and gold limestone clad building sits on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and will quickly become a new feature along this stable cultural route. The rectangular glass protrusion covering the length of the building allows light into the galleries through the day, and at night will glow. It is another asset to the artwork and the Barnes Foundation, and a spotlight highlighting the move to its new city, Philadelphia.

Architects: Tod Williams + Billie Tsien
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Project Year: In Progress
Photographs: The Barnes Foundation



July 30, 2011

Vancouver Community Library | Miller Hull Partnership

Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider

Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider

Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider


Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider

Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider

Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider

Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership © Benjamin Benschneider

The new Vancouver Community Library in Vancouver, Washington, designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, recently opened to the public. With an almost 200-foot long, four-story atrium welcoming visitors to this new civic gathering space, the light-filled space features a sculptural concrete stair uniting the library’s five floors. A 50-foot high “Knowledge Wall” installation symbolizes the collection of information and ideas in the building. “The main goal was to create a new center for the community, ” said Adin Dunning, the lead architect for the library project who also grew up in Vancouver. “It was about bringing new users into the library and expanding what the library had to offer. The atrium space connects the program together and differentiates this building from any other building in the city.”

Architect: The Miller Hull Partnership
Location: Vancouver, Washington, 
Project Area: 80,000 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Benjamin Benschneider

The old library spent almost five decades at a site cut off from the city by the freeway. The new building more than triples the current space (to 80,000 square feet). As part of the urban core of Washington’s fourth largest city, the building serves as the cornerstone of a planned four-block 600,000-square-foot mixed-use development, including a public plaza that will spill out from the library’s atrium to host a series of community events.

In response to the community’s values and in an effort to market the library’s services to the next generation of users, the youngest patrons and families are featured prominently in the building. More than 4,000 square feet of children’s museum-like interactive displays (the largest such installation in the country) provides a focus on early literacy and a (free) place for children and their caregivers to come and build the skills that contribute to learning to read. Additionally, a state-of-the-art (and fully-enclosed) Teen Space was created providing dedicated computers, lounge seating, monitors for gaming, as well as an audio/ video system designed to allow teens to bring their own music into the space.

To facilitate community dialogue and discussions, the library includes both indoor and outdoor meeting and presentation spaces. All of these areas are available for community use, including a large roof deck with commanding views to the Columbia River and Mount Hood beyond.

The Vancouver Community Library was designed for long-term flexibility and adaptability as libraries change over time. Large open floor areas and a flexible raised access floor, containing mechanical and electrical systems, allow for easily rearranged spaces in the coming years and contribute to the overall sustainable design goals and projected LEED Gold certification. The use of natural daylight was a key design strategy, and the narrow building and arrangement of shelves maximizes north and south light. Carefully sized overhangs and the strategic use of clear and shaded glass (both a stainless steel mesh shade and ceramic frit) control heat gain and glare.

As the role of the library changes, including the evolution of how we consume books and media, the Vancouver Community Library stands out as the library of the future — anticipating that we cannot and do not know what to expect, but designed to adapt and respond when that future (and the next future) arrives.

June 18, 2011


Murphy/Jahn designs glass-domed library for the University of Chicago.


The Joe & Rika Mansueto Library










For the most part these days, when universities with major collections of research materials run out of room at their library facilities they move the books, and maps, and folios, and other materials to off-campus storage warehouses. Scholars can still use the material, of course, it just takes a bit of time between request and retrieval. When the University of Chicago found its Regenstein Library bursting at the seams, however, it recoiled at the thought of resorting to such a measure. Why not, the institution pondered, build a research library right in the heart of campus? One not only designed to house precious artifacts, but also dedicated to the art of preserving and archiving them? Why not build more than just a warehouse but a building of real architectural value—a space to ennoble the scholarly craft and serve as a laboratory for printed mater in the digital age? That’s just what the University decided to do with the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, a 58,700-square-foot facility capable of storing 3.5 million volumes via an automated storage retrieval system (ASRS).

Sited adjacent to Regenstein, on the corner of 57th Street and South Ellis Avenue in the University’s North Campus, Mansueto replaces a once empty lot and tennis court. The location also sits next to Henry Moore’s “Nuclear Energy” sculpture, an homage to the first-ever nuclear chain reaction, which was executed by Enrico Fermi at the school. Chicago-based architecture firm Murphy/Jahn’s design for the facility seeks to preserve the site’s open quality as well as views and access to the Moore piece. To do this, the architects proposed burying the storage function underground since it did not call for daylight and in fact is better without it. The reading room, circulation desk, and preservation department, on the other hand, they housed on a single floor at ground level covered by an ovular glass-clad grid shell dome.

ASRS is a computerized robotic system of high-density storage. It has been used for years by the automobile industry to store and retrieve new cars, though more recently the technology has been adapted for modern research libraries. Librarians assign each item a bar code, scan it into the system, and then place it in a bin, which a robot crane then carries to an assigned place on a shelving unit. Mansueto’s system is composed of five aisles of 50-foot-high shelves. Items are stored by size, rather than call number, and can be requested from any computer with an Internet connection and retrieved in a matter of minutes by the robots.

It all sounds rather complex, and the building’s glassy swell has a futuristic appearance, but in design and construction Mansueto is actually quite simple. The cavernous underground storage room was prepared with slurry walls, a process of building a foundation wall in which a trench is dug in the earth, then filled with slurry—a viscous liquid made from water and bentonite—which keeps the ground from caving in. Into this watery hole a rebar cage is inserted and then concrete is pumped in, displacing the slurry and creating, after a period of drying, the wall. These slurry walls were done in contiguous sections until the oval of the storage room was complete. After that the earth in the center of the ring was excavated, the walls secured with post-tensioned anchors, and, voila, the storage room was born.

There are benefits and pitfalls to storing archival materials underground. It is cool and dark down there (both good), but it is also damp (bad). And one of the quirks of slurry walls is that, unlike other methods of concrete foundation wall construction, they cannot be sealed against water intrusion. To keep moisture levels in the storage room within acceptable levels, the architects added another wall within the slurry wall, leaving a gap between the two that forms a sort of rain screen system. Any water that seeps through the concrete is captured in a trough and allowed either to evaporate or is sucked out with sump pumps. Meanwhile, the space within the inner wall is kept at ideal temperature and moisture levels by the mechanical system.

The grid shell structure was designed in collaboration with Werner Sobek, a German architect and engineer who has made something of a specialty of the system and who works regularly with Murphy/Jahn. It is made up of 6-inch-diameter steel pipe laid out in a 6-foot-by-6-foot grid and anchored to a concrete ring foundation. Posts extending up from the intersections of the pipe support anchors that accept the glass panels—high-performance low-e coated insulated glass units. With the exception of a ring of clear glass at the base of the dome that allows unobstructed views out to the campus, the cladding is treated with a 57 percent pattern of ceramic frit. The fritting will help the enclosure reject 73 percent of solar heat gain while admitting 50 percent of visible light. It is also applied in two colors: black facing up, which makes it less visible from the outside, and light grey facing in, which serves as a reflective surface for uplighting incorporated into the air circulation towers that sprinkle the interior.

and watch the video here:

need to see more:

South View Drawing

Architect Helmut Jahn’s rendering of the view of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library from the south (57th Street)

North View Drawing

Architect Helmut Jahn’s rendering of the view of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library from the north (Ellis Avenue)

Floorplan of Route from Regenstein

Architect Helmut Jahn’s floor plan, showing the route from the Joseph Regenstein Library to the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library in yellow

Mansueto floor plan

Floor plan detail

Cross-section Drawing

Architect Helmut Jahn’s rendering of a cross-section of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, showing the automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) underground and the glass dome above ground

Inside Reading Room Drawing

Architect Helmut Jahn’s rendering of a view from inside the Grand Reading Room

Arial View Drawing

Architect Helmut Jahn’s rendering of the view of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library from above

June 9, 2011

National Library of France | Dominique Perrault

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Update: National Library of France / Dominique Perrault © Franck Bohbot

Previously featured here on ArchDaily as one of our AD Classics, the National Library of by  was built in hopes to be the most modern library in the world. The competition of 1989 that included projects from 244 internationally renowned architects was won by , who was only 36 years old. Photographer Franck Bohbot recently shared with us an extremely rare glimpse of the National Library, with a completely empty interior.


June 6, 2011

Halifax Central Library | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Project: Halifax Central Library
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The design for the new Halifax Central Library was revealed at the fifth public consultation meeting in Halifax, Canada. At this last public consultation meeting in the design phase of the Halifax Central Library the architects identified the trends from all four of the prior public meetings and showed how the building design has responded to the users’ ideas.

The 45 million Canadian dollars (€ 33 million) Central Library in the Canadian port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia will have a clear Canadian reference as well as a detectable Scandinavian design heritage as the winning team behind the design is the Canadian architectural practice Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and Danish schmidt hammer lassen architects. In March 2010, Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and schmidt hammer lassen architects won the international competition to design Halifax Central Library.

”In the design process we have been particular keen on reflecting the spirit of the local community as well as the ‘genus loci’ of the site making Halifax Central Library unique in many ways. We believe that Halifax Central Library will become a landmark cultural hub for the community,” said Morten Schmidt, Founding Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.

At this point, Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and schmidt hammer lassen architects enter four months of Design Development, with a final public presentation and unveiling of the final detail design in March/April 2011. Breaking ground is scheduled for mid 2011 and the library is due for completion in early 2014.

schmidt hammer lassen architects works with libraries across all scales from branch libraries and central libraries to university libraries. The practice is renowned for the extension of The Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has also designed Halmstad Library and the extension of Växjö Library in Sweden. Ongoing library projects include The University of Aberdeen New Library in Scotland, UK, The Urban Mediaspace, Scandinavia’s biggest public library, in Aarhus, Denmark and the new Highlands Library for Edmonton Public Libraries in Alberta, Canada.