A Library Renaissance


David Chipperfield’s Des Moines Public Library. The deceptively simple facade creates a substantial, solid building by day, while at night it magically dissolves, transforming the building into a lantern. A lantern spreading the light of knowledge…or something. Looking at these images, I’m reminded of one of my favorite libraries – The alabaster-clad Yale Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Only in reverse. Sort of.

  • image via Divisare
  • previously: Is the library relevant?
  • previously: Not-so-koolhaas
  • previously: The Other Seattle Library
  • previously: Mies-on-an-auction-block
  • 2 Replies to “A Library Renaissance”

    1. Is not deceptive, is simple and boring! I love modern architecture, but lately I see many things that reminds me of the internationational style of the ’70 and it’s scary.

      And may be it is beautiful at night but usualy people go to the library during the day.

      Lets stop aclaiming nonsense projects.

      Great blog by the way.

    2. I don’t think it’s nonsense at all. It has a certain weight that’s missing from a lot of contemporary design.

      Sure people go to the library during the day, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also contribute to the city fabric by night. And if you look at the other photos, you can see that the facade has an interior daytime transparency that mirrors the exterior nighttime transparency – with the added benefit of no glare or hotspots in reading areas. A rather elegant solution, I think.

      and thanks for the complement!

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