Many of today’s libraries are innovative, cutting-edge buildings with an abundance of services and resources for the brightest minds to come together. Here are 3 of our favorites.
Calgary Central Library
This design-forward building was an astounding $245-million project designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta and Canadian firm Dialog. The futuristic hexagonal pattern is representative of the library’s focus on a collective community. The walls are decorated with indigenous artists and the red cedar interiors look sleek, clean and inviting. “The city has opened a door into a future that banks on a culture of creativity and innovation,” says Snøhetta leading partner Craig Dykers.
The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, Chicago
Channel your inner sci-fi geek at Chicago’s Mansueto Library. Books are tended by robotic cranes, with a glass dome cover that expands the entire upper reading area. The unique glass panes that form the dome blocks heat and UV rays, which guarantees a comfortable atmosphere at all times.
Helsinki Central Library, Finland
Forget everything you knew about libraries. This 185,744 square-foot facility is the gold standard. This public urban facility has relegated reading space and bookshelves to the top floor, and the two lower levels blend together to create spaces for events, research, or just hanging out. Creating “a civic living room” was a huge focus of the design of this masterfully-crafted building, and it is sure to be the standard for architecture moving forward.