As which access was limited to a limited number

As a symbolic
reflxion of prevailing power structures, the innen spatial organization of the
library has always been shaped by two opposed forces, two purposes, the
archival purpose of preserving knowledge, and the public one of accessing
knowledge, the coexistence between these two functions shaped the library
throughout history. During the ecclesiastical world of the middle ages, the
archival function dominated, as the books were viewed as a source of sacred
knowledge, to which access was limited to a limited number of priviledged
indivials, spatially this exculsivity was celebrated with reading clusters,
ressembling in their form and order to temples and prayer rooms, Michelangelo’
concept of ‚secret library illustrates this conception of the library.

During the
Renaissance the attainment of knowledge became more public and less exclusive,
the machanical production of books made them more available tot he civic use,
this change from an ecclesiatical to a humanist form affected the library and
its role in the society, which affected the design of the spatial organization,
as the reading room became a humanist discourse and exchange space. In the 18th
century, with the ‚project of modernity’, the faith was on advancement of
humanity and universal progress, this faith in humanity was spatially
translated in the form of libraries that are cultural centers, with reading
rooms that play the role of civic culture spaces, the best example ist he
library of Boullée and its famous reading project room oft he Bibliothèque du

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

library of the future is a concept and a programm to transform existing
libraries and help design ones to help survive printed books, by giving books a
new more vivid meaning, Architect Rem Koolhaas along with other architects dutch
architects Rients Dijkstra and Jason Hilgefort tried to compare the differences
between the traditional library and the library oft he future, and propose new
spatial organizational concepts for the library of the future.

traditional library is static, flat which does not allow flexibility (see
figure 5 below), the society of today is a dynamic, creative, and as the
library is a reflexion of the society, the building of the library oft he
future should allow the users to write, learn, create and discover, in an
environment that allows freedom and exchange

The main shift in the organisation of the
library is stimulated by the progress of technology, information and media, books
have to share more and more space with other media (see figure 6 below), in
order fort he library to keep up with the explosive multiplication of
information media and social consequences of this multiplication.   

the nature of the library shifting from a quiet static one to a dynimac
culturally multiple, the distribution of activities and cultural offers musst
be reevaluted and rethought. The traditional library separated and isolated
spaces and functions, while the library of the futures combies and mixes several
offers, functions in order to keep the user interested throught the building
and the visit (see figure 7 below).


Figure 7: Distribution of
offers in the library

source: (Van der Werf, 2010:74)


library of the future is a learning center with several activities (Figure 8
see below) The new multifunctional, mixed space concpt is also through
furniture and new arrangements implemented, a furniture and arrangement of
media that allows interaction and diversity and dynamic, contrary too the
traditional library that had a preset arrangement, an isolating organization of
offers and media. (Figure 9 see below)


Figure 8: The cultural
learning facilities

source: (Van der Werf, 2010:75)


Figure 9: The furniture

source: (Van der Werf, 2010:73)


Study cases

are several examples of built libraries designed according to innovative
principles to in use and integrate the latest advances and advantages of
technology. This chapter aims to study three examples of three innovative


city library  

Figure 10: Stuttgart city

source: (Vgl. Website Archdaily)




after nearly three years of construction, the new Stuttgart
City Library was in 2011 inaugurated. The building is designed by Korean
architect Eun Young Yi, Eun’s proposal was selected in 1999 from 235 entries as
the plan for the The building of the 80-million Euro Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder (the new city library located in Mailänder square in the
future European Quarter) (vgl. Website Visi)



a new society, a new architecture should be defined as a reflection on the
avancement of civilisation. The condition for this should not, however, be to
get rid of old values. ‘(Yi, 2011:25).

location chosen for the new city library, is a slightly sloping plot in the
middle of the neighborhood set by the developpment masterplan as the european Quarter,
in the Mäilander square, the design and the size and position of the new
library is supposed to be representative of the new emerging quarter. This
image is achieved through the exterior architecture, the building is a pale
grey concrete structure, with frostered glass bricks, the ensemble is planned
in a geometrical, symetrical cubic form, with an edge Length of almost 45m (see
figure 11 below). (Yi, 2011:25).   



Figure 11: Stuttgart city


Source : (Vgl. Website Archdaily)


building envelope is a double facade featuring a light gray glass-block,
exposed-concrete frame and an inner mullion and transom facade with sun
protection. The space between the two facades is a walkway for strolling and is
illuminated in blue at night. (see figure 12 below). (Vgl. Website Siemens)

Figure 12: Stuttgart city

Source : (Vgl. Website Archdaily)




and spatial organisation

Nowadays, people are constantly
encouraged to communicate one with another, where public space and building
play a major role. But communication is not only a social necessaty, it is also
a private one, als we need to get in touch with our inner values, and this can
be accomplished in a large, monumental room, in a small isolated room, but also
in an abstract room like the ‘heart’ of the new library of Stuttgart.

The Heart of the library is on every
floor ringed by the public areas. It extends across the four floors and links
the reading spaces one to another.  

The gallery hall (Galeriesaal) is a
contemporary interpretation of an old-age type of reading room such as the one
designed by Etienne Boullee for the French national library, a compact, square,
five high storey room with a shell of books, to highlight the books and the
reading experience. (see figure 13 below)


Figure 13: Section of the Stuttgart city library

: (Vgl. Website Archdaily)  


The vertical circulation has been
spirally organized, as interior stairs in the reading gallery levels as a
flowing promenade, a metaphor, in which the heart is a heaven like the
cathedral and a sacred place in the city, and the reading room and its stairs
are the alleys and squares. Natural light comes in through the glass roof,
which is closed off with a grid-work drop ceiling to achieve a simple and pure


Figure 14: Conceptual diagrams of the Stuttgart city library

source: Adam Kor 48-105 studio b


The main goal of the architect was
to design room that are easy to read, therefore great importance was given to
homogeneous and plain surfaces, the square grid dictates the main shapes and
sets a general order to generate redeable spaces, however, the geometry is not
a purpose by itself, but simply an architectural and organizational principle to
reach certain elegance and clear-cut building structure.

Public Library

Figure 15: Seatlle public

source: (Vgl. Website Archdaily)



1998, the voters of seattle voted to approve the project of a 290 Million
Dollar to rebuild and renew the seattle public library, the new library
designed by the dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has 33700 square meters programm
areaon eleven floors.

building is a steel and glass construction, has city views, large public
spaces, an all meeting room floor, and a 30 miles of books arranged as a
spiral, and considered as the world largest book spiral. (See figure 16 below)


Figure 16: Diagram of the
book spiral in the seattle library

source: (Vgl. Website Vmetoyer)  



koolhaas used the concept of ‘urban consolidation’ by interpretation different infrastructural
elements of the city, such as streets, squares and buildings and integrating
them in the spatial componenets of the library, to suggest a continuation of
the public realm. At the same time, the architect expressend the division
between the interior and the exterior of the library through its shiny,
monumental exterior (Van der Werf, 2010).

eleven floors and the underground are connected by escalators, threes passengers’
elevators and one freight elevator, the atrium rises from the forth level from
the fourth level to the eleventh floor.


and spatial organisation

the seatlle public library, Rem Koolhaas expanded the the classic programm of
the library that consists in storing and transferring of information, to a
concept of ‘urban event space’, as a staged sequence of experiences across
different departements offering the reader various activities and endless
possibilities, the visitors can wonder around in the library and discover these
different possibilities.

building is devided in five stable platforms, each one of these platforms is a
programmatic cluster, that it is architecturally defined and equipped, the
size, the flexibility, the ciruculation, and the structure varies according to
its purpose (figure 17 below): parking is in the bottom, store in the ground
floor, ‘assembly’ in the third, followed by two floors of books and


Figure 17: The five stable



four ‘instable’ platforms in between the stable ones play the role of trading,
where the interface and interaction between dfferent spaces is organised spaces
for work, interaction, reading and play.

Figure 18: The four
‘instable’ platforms



Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm center

Figure 19: Jacob and Wilhelm
Grimm center

source: (Vgl. Website Archdaily)  

new bilduing of the Humboldt University in Berlin gathers the twelve branch and
departement libraries of the liberal arts and cultural studies as well as
social studies and eonomics, which makes it the largest contigeous open library
in Germany. (Roth, 2011:105-106).

building was in 2009 inaugurated, and has been designed by the swiss architect
Max Dudler for the university of Humboldt in Berlin, is considered to be the
largest open access library in Germany. (Campbell, 2013).  



facades convey the interior functions of the building through the varying
openings in the stone body to the outside. The openings are structured on the
basis of a grid of 1.50 m, the fassade was realized in a yellowish Juram
marble, which through a high-pressure water jet process, has a natural stone
structure. (see figure 20 Below)


Figure 20: The fassade of the
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm center


source: (Vgl. Website Divisare)  


the clarity and quietness are achieved by reducing the color canon to a warm
dark tones: white-gray, black-gray, reddish wood, dark red and dark green
furniture surfaces. The freehand areas are designed with smooth black linoleum
floors, black and gray sheet steel bookshelves, and whitewashed walls and
ceilings. (see figure 21 below)

Figure 21: The interior of
the library

Source: (Vgl. Website Divisare)  


special areas such as reading rooms, and the main entrance hall were fitted
with wall cladding and American Cherry veneer ceiling cladding. Frequently busy
areas such as the main entrance hall and the outside staircase accompanying the
reading room were given a natural stone floor in the jural marble of the
façade. Reading tables and table lamps are designed by the architects. For the
upper luminaire cover, translucent composite quartzite stone glass plates were
used in reference to table lighting in historical reading rooms. (Dudler, 2010: 70-77).


and spatial organisation

discussion on whether to create a single central reading room or several decentralized
small rooms was concluded with the decision for both: from the large,
stepped-up room or hall, all 2.5 million media units can be reached,
distributed to the reading places, and computer workstations. The central reading
room also enables access to decentralized space. The reading room is in the
raised part of the building protected from direct south light, arranged in the
rear building part. (Dudler et al., 2010: 70-77). Due to its monumental
dimensions, its terraced, to achieve an exterior-like perception, which is
further supported by the large-area glazing of the “sky”. The free
look into the sky almost suggests reading in open air, reminiscent of the reading
rooms in the traditional libraries. The building is approximately 50 m deep, from
almost any point of view, users have a view out of or through the building. The
internal organization of the building was developed according to symmetry
organized around the central axis. (see Figure 22 below) (Roth,


Figure 22: The reading room
and the ceiling

Source: (Vgl. Website


reading room receives a counterpart through the symmetry. For the purpose and
occasion of its construction, architectural space has been used to design a
space for the books and its readers, to give an identity reminiscent of the old
libraries. In addition to the introverted, central reading room, the library
also offers flexibly expandable, individual reading islands on the façade. The
actual highlight of the room presentation is the research library located at a
height of about 24 meters, which preserves the valuable holdings of the
Brothers Grimm collection. (see figure 23 below)




Figure 23: Section of the

source: (Vgl. Website Gooood)