Bookworm Edition: 8 Unusual Libraries You Never Knew Existed

While the technology of e-books is brilliant, we’d like to take a moment and remember our first love. More than just a physical container of historical scribblings, shared knowledge and academic musings, the library is where we go to draw inspiration. If you’re a fellow bookworm, here are 8 spectacular libraries in the world you should visit before you die!

#1 Seattle Public Library’s Central Library

So, are we living in the future?

Designed by: Rem Koolhaas & Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA

Where: Seattle, USA

A combination of glass panels and a unique book spiral result in this Rubik-cube-gone-mad structure. Futuristic architecture, natural light, four stories high and bold design elements, this 21st century building is open daily to the common public.

#2 Stuttgard City Library

This library is probably cleaner than your room will ever be.
This library is probably cleaner than your room will ever be.

Designed by: Yi Architects

Where: Stuttgart, Germany

A nine-story building which appears as a monolithic cube – but don’t be deceived. The moment sunset arrives, the building’s façade begins to glow, and the moment night falls – it illuminates in mesmerizing blue lights. Knows as the ‘Library for Imsomniacs’, you are welcome to the premise after hours to spend the night with a good book in hand.

#3 Central Library of Vancouver

The Colosseum in Canada?
The Colosseum in Canada?

Designed by: Moshe Safdie

Where: Vancouver, Canada

Enter the modern-day Colosseum through a huge skylit concourse, which is host to an array of shops and cafes. Connecting bridges inside the library will bring you to different reading and study areas – so if you’re a bookworm, go ahead and make a date with this gorgeous book haven.

#4 Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch

A library in the woods.
A library in the woods.

Designed by: Ying-Chao Kuo & Ching-Hwa Chang

Where: Taipei, Taiwan

A lovely eco-library that has won an array of awards since it was established in 2006, this library features rooftop gardens, airy sunlit interior, and water reclamation, solar panels and natural ventilation systems. Curl up with a book at one of the many open-air balconies any day of the week!

#5 Musashino Art University Museum and Library

A forest of books.
A forest of books, just the way we like it!

Designed by: Sou Fujimoto

Where: Tokyo, Japan

Literally a ‘forest-of-books’, the Musashino Art University Museum and Library is constructed from light-wood bookshelves walled in with glass.

#6 Vennesla Library and Culture House

Now, you know how Jonah felt.
So, this is how Jonah felt in the whale’s belly.

Designed by: Helen & Hard Architecture

Location: Vennesla, Norway

With Norway’s controversial history as a whaling nation, the idea of building a library with an interior that resembles a whale’s ribcage was pretty risqué. However, the fact that the design was inspired by nature won out. The result? A visually striking ribcage.

#7 Admont Abbey Library

Pretty in white!
The look of beauty with a (hefty) price tag.

Designed by: Joseph Hueber

Location: Admont, Austria

In efforts to match library’s decorative scheme, the original book collections at the abbey were rebound in white, at an enormous cost. Oh, the lengths we go to just to look pretty.

#8 Library of Birmingham

Life in Technicolour!
Life in Technicolour!

Designed by: Francine Houben

Where: Birmingham, England

Looking more akin to a Louis Vuitton store than a library, it’s as if an architect decided to play a game of Jengga on the streets of Birmingham. What looks like four solid rectangular blocks are actually an impressive series of 5,357 metal rings – giving out an ultra-modern first impression.

Which is your favourite library, nomads?

Main picture: 1.

Photo credit: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

Christine Wong

Commonly referred to as “the hungry one’’ by those close to her, when Christine isn’t in the midst of constructing her next literal masterpiece, she can be found sampling the latest in local cuisine and planning her next holiday escapade!

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