Libraries bear a testimony in a successful attempt made by man to encapsulate knowledge that have also stood as monuments to witness the era in terms of interior design, art and architecture. In current age, these huge institutions have developed tremendously into key structures that help readers to meet others, gain a good amount of knowledge, endorse new ideas and create a way to take up various debates and discussions.
Therefore, take a look at some of the best libraries of the world:
The Library of Alexandria
It is regarded as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ and the ancient libraries in Alexandria. The library was built up within a cost of $220 and was completed in 2002. The library also houses a cultural centre, a planetarium, art galleries, an exhibition space, museums, a conference centre and a children’s library. The libraries have always been despoiled by wars and demolished in fires throughout history. The Chapter of Noyon Cathedral in France has a collection of evocatively scarred books.
The Jay Walker’s Private Library
Jay Walker is an inventor and an entrepreneur who used his wealth to develop a notable library. He calls his library “The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination” which is located at his home in Connecticut. The library comprises of 50,000 books that has a collection of early titles and books which is worthy of securing its place among the top museums of the world. The inspiration of its surreal architecture has been taken from work of M.C Escher but this is not open to public.
The Abbey Library of Saint Gall
It is the oldest library in Switzerland that boasts of 1, 60,000 volumes and the ancient monastery libraries in the world that has manuscripts of 8th century. The library is also a World Heritage site since 1983 and many of its rare manuscripts can be read online free or with a lesser subscription. At this library, one can get access to the books but few journals and books before the 19th century can be read on-site.
The Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena
This library is located near Rimini in Northern Italy and without any doubt it is one of the finest preserved examples of what a medieval library looked like. It was built in 1452 for Malatesta Novello and was designed by an unknown architect Matteo Nutti. The library still houses the books commissioned by Malatesta which has been copied out by hand. The interesting part is that each book has it original position in which the books are chained to avoid theft.
The Seattle Central Library
The captivating Seattle Central Library was inaugurated in 2004 that brags of a ultra-modern design of a beautifully made glass created by Rem Koolhaas of OMA/ LMN and Joshua Prince-Ramus. The chief purpose of constructing this design was to create an inviting and open space by breaking the popular myth that libraries are dark and stuffy. It has inspired a whole new demographic that just come here to explore books and materials.
The Mafra Portugal
It is one of the longest cloistered libraries in the world which is housed within a royal palace. It was previously intended to be luxurious and to have a ceiling painted with floral motifs keeping the architectural style of that period. But, its extended construction period meant that the style as well the purpose of the library changed over a period of time.