Too cool for school libraries

If you think that libraries are just rooms full of shelves full of books, think again.

Some uber-cool libraries have been designed and built, especially in Europe.

This one (left) is in Almere in the Netherlands – I love the way they have worked with the  sloping site to create terraced displays, and the light and the curves – read more about it at the PSFK website.

The same website also has information about an amazing, free, 24 hour access, community library in Germany – it’s kind of like a formalised, local book crossing point, combined with a park (below). Read more about it here.

Back in the Netherlands I am seriously jealous of Delft – not only is their public library described as the “the most modern in the world”, with both technological connectivity and comfortable chairs (according to The Shifted Librarian) but the Delft University of Technology has one of the most beautiful libraries in the world with a sloping grass roof, which is used for sledding in winter. (The architects, Mecanoo, have images on their site – just scroll down.)

And there’s more to come….

This little gem, looking like an extra from Monsters Inc., is the planned National Library of the Czech Republic, to be build in Prague. I’m not quite sure how it will fit into the city of a thousand spires, but I have to admit it is well and truly outside the “box with books” mode of traditional library design.

Any traditionalists out there who would like to sing the praises of the neo-Classical libraries (or their favourite box with books)?