5 LIBRARIES – BEAUTIFUL, BIZARRE, BOLD

5 libraries – the beautiful, bizarre bold from around the world. I can’t wait to visit these fabulous libraries! The more I have had to stay at home the more I hunger to travel again and see the sights around this wonderful world. I love to see libraries and meet library staff everywhere and have been fortunate enough to travel from America, Australia, Argentina and Russia to so many places across Europe.

A recent online discussion made me think just how true it is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and thank goodness aren’t we all so glad about that! This was a discussion about a new library in China and my thinking is that I absolutely love ANY investment in libraries and culture and those investments speak volumes about how countries view the importance of libraries, literacy and education.

As you might be aware, at Solus we have a thing for libraries — both the wealth of knowledge they contain, the staff, the values they uphold and their architecture. We’ve shown you many beautiful libraries before but now we thought we’d take a look at some of the slightly more bizarre-looking. Remember “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” even though some might remind you of a giant head or a multicoloured tea cosy — but we love them all! Look at these 5 from around the world, and let us know if we missed your particular favourite.

1. The Kuggen Building in Gothenburg Sweden is a gear-shaped building that houses Chalmers University of Technology. The Building is faced with six different shades of red and two shades of green and is executed in glazed terracotta. “Kuggen” is circular to minimize the ratio between skin and area. Every floor level adds two bays making the building grow in size for every added floor. The centre of each circle is shifted so the southern elevation gets the longest shadow. A movable sunscreen tracks the sun and adds to the shade to the two top floors. (Existent buildings cast their shadows on the lower levels).

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The Kuggen – Gothenburg Sweden – 1 of 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold

2. The Incredible La Tête Carrée Library In Nice

Public buildings are often the crowning jewels of cities and libraries, in particular, are commonly, that is exactly what you will find in Nice. Extraordinary, monumental and unique, it is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts and art lovers alike! http://bitly.ws/nUMa

La Tête Carrée Library In Nice 2 of 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold

3. Vienna University of Economics and Business Library and Learning Centre, Vienna, Austria

The Vienna Library and Learning Centre rises as a polygonal block from the heart of the new University campus. The interior of the LLC is informed by the external circulation of the masterplan which maps out the different levels of the building. The straight lines of the building’s exterior separate as they move inward, becoming curvilinear and fluid to generate a free-formed interior canyon that serves as the principal public plaza of the centre, as well as  generating corridors and bridges ensuring smooth transitions between different levels.

Vienna University of Economics and Business Library and Learning Center3 of 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold

4. The National Library of Kosovo – Pristina

The National Library of Kosova in Pristina is the highest library institution in Kosova and is located in Pristina. The mission of the library is to collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual heritage of Kosovo. It holds exhibitions and an archive of national newspapers. The library also provides a number of other services. It is known for its unique history, and the style of the building designed by Yugoslavian architect Andrija Mutnjaković, followed by controversies about the outside appearance of it.

The National Library of Kosovo – Pristina4 of 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold

5. Cottbus Technical University Library – “IKMZ”

Cottbus Technical University library appears as a curved glass building with no edges or corners, resembling a giant amoeba designs. Unusual shape without front or rear and four protrusions of different sizes.

The glass library building is located opposite the main entrance of campus. From this point of view, the library appears as an impressive body anchored in the park. As one approaches the building from the city center or from the north, it looks completely different, more slender, almost like a separate tower. In fact, the building looks different from all avenues of focus, however, is still one continuous, flowing as a whole. Although it appears to be organic and explicitly self-referential, its design is also derived from the expressed will provide the site a distinctive new survey quality within its urban context.

Cottbus Technical University Library 5 of 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold

We hope you have enjoyed these 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold from around the world. At Solus we have a thing for libraries – from the small, the plain and much-loved to the bold, beautiful and bizarre. The wealth of knowledge they contain, the staff, the values they uphold and their architecture.

Remember “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and yes even though some might remind us of a giant head or a multicoloured tea cosy we love them all!

Can’t travel just yet? Well enjoy this mini desk trip and these 5 libraries – beautiful, bizarre, bold from around the world. Enjoy our stories from libraries around the world and let us know if you have a particular favourite, bizarre, quirky or just plain beautiful library to show us., and as always, let us know if we missed your particular favourite.

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