A library is like bookworm’s paradise and if you are one, this article is definitely for you. We bring to you a compilation of the 10 most beautiful libraries of the world. These libraries have some of the best architecture and the most elegant of interior designs.
Our top 10 beautiful libraries are spread all over the globe. Besides having the best collections, these libraries also have the most marvelous of exterior and interior designs that you will ever come across. Even if you are not a bookworm, the look of these libraries will surely make you want to be one.
1. STOCKHOLM PUBLIC LIBRARY, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
The Stockholm Public library is located in Stockholm, Sweden. It was designed by the Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. The library is perfect blend of the classic and modern designs. The roof of the library is white and textured and has a cloudy appearance. The main hall is circular and is stocked with books in all Nordic languages. The main entrance has a high staircase. The library also has a park with plants, sculptures and a reflecting pool. The interior of the library has rich artwork. The lobby is decorated with scenes from the Iliad. The cylindrical shape adds grandeur to the library.
2. STRAHOV MONASTERY LIBRARY, CZECH REPUBLIC
The Strahov Monastery Library located in Prague, Czech Republic is the largest and one of the most beautiful monastic libraries in the country. The library has two majestic baroque halls from the 17th and 18th centuries. The ceilings are embellished with figures of Divine Providence as well other Biblical frescoes such as Adam and Eve. The unique feature of the library is its compilation wheel which enables finding books easily by turning and rotating the shelves. The lobby outside the hall displays shrivelled remains of sea creatures such as sharks and turtles. Visitors are not allowed into the hall as it was found that change in humidity levels due to the breaths of visitors could damage the frescoes.
3. RICHARD J. RIORDAN CENTRAL LIBRARY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The Central Library in Los Angeles is one of the most important buildings in the city. The exterior architecture of the library is built along the lines of the Art Deco design. The interior of the library has a beautiful rotunda and a staircase. It has a bronze chandelier as the centrepiece. The important incidences and events in the history of California are depicted by decorative stencils. The library is also a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument. The library is surrounded by Maguire Gardens.
4. VENNESLA LIBRARY AND CULTURE HOUSE, VENNESLA, NORWAY
The Vennesla library is located in Vennesla, Norway. This is not just a library, but a community centre as well. It has a café, a learning centre, meeting and administrative areas and even a cinema. The library has a unique structure of 27 ribs for proper ventilation and natural light, whose shape varies throughout. It has also been designed in way to serve as a low energy system. The library was designed by architects Helen and Hard. This is a sustainable building which is both socially and environmentally apt for visitors. The library was completed at the end of 2011. It is located next to the main town square. The wooden beams in interior of the library are designed in a way that gives it the appearance of a whale.
5. STATE LIBRARY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
Located in Adelaide, South Australia, this is one library which will take your breath away when you enter it. While on the outside the library looks more like a glasshouse, while on the inside it has a rich interior design. The design of the library is along the lines of French Renaissance style. The library houses a number of books on Australian indigenous culture and history. The library also gives the facility of a Flickr account where people can post their own pictures of the South Australian culture and life.
6. VANCOUVER CENTRAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, VANCOUVER, CANADA
The design of the Vancouver Central Public Library has been inspired from the Colosseum in Rome. The library has nine floors and covers the area of an entire city block. The library houses coffee shops, office areas, underground parking and even retail. The distinguishing feature of the library is its beautiful rooftop garden. However, public access is not allowed to the garden. The library is famous for having been used in the sets of a number of films.
7. THE LIBRARY OF EL ESCORIAL, SAN LORENZO DE EL ESCORIAL, SPAIN
This beautiful library located in the royal town of San Lorenzo De El Escorial is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The library was built under King Philip 2. It is considered to be a masterpiece due to its elaborate design. The most alluring feature of the library is its series of 7 frescos, which depict seven liberal arts such as astronomy, music, rhetoric, etc.
8. ROYAL LIBRARY OF DENMARK, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
Located in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, this library originally came into being in 1648. However, it was renovated in 1999. The library has a middle section of clear glass on either sides are metal segments which are shiny black. Due to this, it is also called the ‘black diamond’. The library has an incredible collection of European works and a vast number of books on the history and culture of Denmark as well. The original copy of the first known Danish book is also preserved here. The library also houses a café, national photography museum and a performance hall.
9. ROYAL PORTUGUESE READING ROOM, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
This library has a palatial interior design and will give you a royal feel as you enter it. The library was actually built in Lisbon and was then shipped to Rio de Janeiro. The library has a beautiful limestone exterior, inspired by the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon. The library has altar made of ivory, marble and silver at the entrance. It also has stained glass windows in red, blue and white.
10. SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY, CENTRAL BRANCH, WASHINGTON
The Seattle Public library located in Seattle, Washington was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. It has 11 stories and is made in glass and steel. The library is built on a hill which makes it possible to enter and exit the library on different floors.