Icon 125: Libraries 04.10.13

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Icon 125: Libraries

This month we celebrate the library and look at the various ways in which it has been rethought in the digital age. Seattle Public Library (2004), our Icon of the Month, is one such radical attempt – 1.5m books spiral up a ramp in a continuous loop that covers the equivalent of four city blocks.

A £188m “super-library” has just opened in Birmingham. It is the largest public library in Europe and expects to attract 10,000 visitors a day. The architect, Dutch practice Mecanoo, describes it as a “people’s palace”.

We talk to Matali Crasset, our cover star, about her colourful beach library and her long campaign against French “good taste”. 

Snøhetta’s Hunt Library for North Carolina State University opened earlier this year. Its robotic retrieval system introduces industrial technology to the world of books. And we look at Oxford University’s recent design competition to commission a new chair for the Bodleian Library.

Upfront, there’s Shigeru Ban’s cardboard cathedral in Christchurch, the Design Museum’s designers in residence, a cultural centre by Eduardo Souto de Moura, Terence Woodgate’s new jewellery brand, Ole Scheeren and OMA’s Interlace in Singapore, J Mayer H’s Schaustelle in Berlin, a new venture launches at Maison & Objet, and FAT at the V&A.

And in Review: lost visions of Los Angeles, club kids and couture at the V&A, sound art comes to MoMA, and the house that Goldfinger built.









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