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Best of Bibliothèques
Si les liseuses et bibliothèques numériques gagnent du terrain, les « vraies » bibliothèques continuent de fédérer et d’attirer grâce à des architectures et des décors hors normes.
Une ancienne bibliothèque royale tricentenaire, un cube monolithique à dédales, un tunnel de livres façon Inception, un palais bullaire et organique… Entre gigantisme, classicisme et biomorphisme, voici cinq paradis pour bibliophiles qui cassent les codes de la bibliothèque.
The Bibliothèque nationale de France
The Richelieu site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France is once again open to readers after twelve years of renovation. Nestled in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, the former royal library of 1722 opens the doors of its palace and archives to visitors on the occasion of its tercentenary. The majestic Salle Ovale, the BnF museum and its 900 treasures, the former palace of Cardinal Mazarin and the Vivienne garden, the the Louis VX lounge, and the Court of Honour can all be seen again.
The Stuttgart City Library
Mazes of Escher-like staircases, cubes within cubes, an inverted ziggurat gallery... Inaugurated in 2011, the Stuttgart Public Library in Germany is probably the most controversial, contested for embodying the excessive asceticism of the modern era. Its architecture signed Eun Young Yi, is however complex and mixes proposals and references: the geometric approach of Boullée, the immensity of Noah's ark and the void of space and the monolithic architecture of Kubrick's Space Odyssey...
Binhai Library in Tianjin
120,000 square meters, six floors, 1,200 seats, 4,000 people per day, 1.2 million books. Binhai's library is a vertiginous and fascinating place. A vortex of books revolves around "The Eye," an auditorium set beneath a glass sphere, and step stoops allow for absolutely anywhere seating. Designed in 2017 by architecture firms MVRDV and TUPDI, it provides an unusual reading environment for Tianjin residents.
Cloudscape Library in Haikou
It looks like Antti Lovag's Bubble Palace and yet we are 8000 km away, precisely in Haijou, China. Completely bare inside, favoring an "anti-material" approach to space and structural expression, the Cloudscape Library designed by MAD is an 11,000 square foot biomorphic architectural gem. It overlooks Haikou Bay and invites readers to a journey that transcends time and space.
The Zhongshuge Library in Yangzhou
Computer generated image or real library? The mesmerising Yangzhou bookshop in China was designed by the architecture firm XL-Muse as an extension of the city's waterscape, creating black reflective glass floors to immerse the visitor in a kaleidoscope of books and arches.