Like a reader hooked on a bestselling thriller, the design of libraries has enthralled architects and the general public for centuries. From the classical mahogany grandeur of the world-famous Long Room at Trinity College Dublin to the post-war, brick modernism of the British Library in London, the important role of libraries in our lives has historically demanded a degree of architectural thought and consideration.
In recent times, however, that historic role has changed. With the digital age revolutionizing how we access, research, and communicate information, libraries are no longer reserved exclusively for books. Libraries today must act as ‘information hubs’, with the flexibility to accommodate a diverse range of media and arts. Architects have responded to the challenge of a new era, reimagining how libraries are built, experienced, and utilized, without entirely throwing away the rule book.
Below, we have rounded-up 12 libraries from around the world, all with architecture from the top shelf.
Public Library and Reading Park / Martín Lejarraga
Bibliothèque Alexis de Tocqueville / OMA + Barcode Architects