Seattle Public Library
Joshua PrinceRamus, LMN Architects
Seattle, Washington, United States
Land area - 33.723 sq.m
Floors - 11+1 basement level
Years of construction – 1999 to 2004
Budget - US $169.2 Million
• The design of the architect 's career clinched Rem Koolhaas,because it is an impressive
building that combines futuristic lines with the functionality of a library.
• From the outside , you can see a large glass building , straight lines that intersect. It is
articulated by large blocks at different levels corresponding to the library premises .
• The " spiral " , was a new way of delivering books to customers within a library system .
Instead of books on different shelves and floors, the spiral inclined allowed a
continuous row of books that make them " easy to navigate " .
• The concept involves the
reinvention of the library as an
access point to information
presented in a variety of media
• "The new library does not
reinvent or modernize
traditional , they are just
packaged in a new way ,"
explain in the OMA study.
• Koolhaas applied its interpretation of the feature set and architecture
for the project that the building would be flexible for future expansions.
• Flexibility in contemporary libraries is conceived as the creation of
generic floors on which almost any activity can be developed.
• This form of flexibility , the library strangles the very attractions that
differentiate it from other information resources .
• Instead of its current ambiguous flexibility , the library could cultivate a
more refined approach in organizing spatial compartments, each
dedicated to and equipped for specific services.
• Inside the building, a spiral structure provides a continuous surface with
coated side shelves that offer different themed collections. These ramps
are supported on slender columns constructed economically .
• The interior is divided into 5 distinguishable blocks from the outside :
1. the parking area ,
2. public reading area
3. café deployed in the large atrium
4. main library space ,and reading rooms and
5. administration, all them culminates in a terrace on the roof.
• The third floor of the library is called "living room ".
• The Book Spiral implies a reclamation of the much-compromised Dewey
Decimal System. By arranging the collection in a continuous ribbon—
running from 000 to 999—the subjects form a coexistence that
approaches the organic; each evolves relative to the others, occupying
more or less space on the ribbon, but never forcing a rupture.
• The main feature of the interior is its large public spaces and leisure
reading , illuminated with natural light coming through the glass walls .
• Also noteworthy plants collections , consisting of a ramp that goes over 4
floors . All Areas bind with brightly colored escalators (except collections )
, and the furniture and objects are modern and colorful design .
• The building is covered by a striking glass and steel structure .