If all libraries looked like the new Stuttgart City Library, Amazon, Apple and the rest of the eBook clan would be justified in worrying about whether eBooks would ever properly take off.
Designed by Eun Young Yi of Yi Architects, it’s an enormous white cube where virtually the only colours are those of the book spines on the shelves. On the outside it almost looks like a gigantic Rubik’s Cube, then you enter the inside – a wonderland of books in an environment purposely built to show off their majesty. Or at least the cover spines anyway, so best forget about that judging a book by it’s cover thing before you enter. If any of Australia’s libraries were designed like this, it would make us want to visit… a lot.
One of the keys to the success of the design is the random placing of the stairs. You can’t just reach the top by walking up a flight, turning, and then walking up another. They make you meander through each floor, soaking up all the books as you do. It’s just not possible to escape more than half a floor every time you look to go to the next level. Of course, that could get seriously irritating if you work there and are late for a meeting on the top floor. We’ve yet to find a lift but we’re sure there is one.
The library also features the normal quiet rooms, kids area and cafè. Wait, my local library doesn’t have a cafè.