Thursday, February 24, 2005

Rem's Kool Library

I'm in Seattle now. I had the day free to write reports for the clients I'm working with. I did my writing across the street from my hotel at the fairly new Seattle Public Library by architect Rem Koolhaas (worth the click I promise). The exterior is handsomely bizarre, but I have not been so into a building's interior since I visited Tadao Ando's Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, Texas. But the FW MOMA overwhelmed me. Koolhaas' library inspires me. It is like a slick and smart game. The kind that makes you feel more intelligent after you play it. It embodies what libraries should represent for people, but often don't--a spirit of creative curiosity.

It is sculptural on the inside but not so much that you forget that you are a library patron. The variety of materials that surround you keep you conscious of your environment without making oppressive demands on your attention. Design decisions are literally everywhere. No visual stone was left unturned, but none of it seems too self-conscious.

It's like Studio 54 married the Library of Congress. Do not come to Seattle without seeing this building.


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