My photo friend and I were out yesterday on another photo tour. Our subject was to be building sites. When I left the house it was sunny, when I arrived at the building site it was freezing, the weather getting worse by the minute. Luckily our plan b subject was sitting right in front of us, next to the building site.
Last year Stuttgart’s new municipal library opened. Talk about it started during the building phase, and as soon as you could see what it was going to look like – a prison was the most-heard opinion – it seemed people either loved or hated it.
Compared to the old library – a city palais re-built after WWII – its beauty is certainly debatable. Then again, it wasn’t meant to be a one-to-one replacement but a 21st century library. And that it certainly is. If you’re interested, you can find info on the concept here.
The building has eight storeys, its façade contains a lot of glass bricks, it is accessible from four sides with a “heart” in the middle, the layout allows you to look right through from West to East and North to South. The stairs to and from the four lower levels are sort of in an outer shell with little windows to look down into the foyer area. Each level seems closed off from the others. From the fourth level upwards, everything is part of the inner shell, bathed in light with an open concept. It has self-service media return machines, which are part of a book sorting system that runs behind glass walls, it has every medium imaginable, a café on the top level, and a roof terrace.
When I took the first step inside I wasn’t much impressed. Now? I want to spend all day there!