May 26, 2004: Seattle's New Central Library
Greetings from downtown Seattle's brand new Central Library, where I can
post a quick blog entry courtesy of the free (well, taxpayer-funded) WiFi.
You've probably heard a bit about the Rem Koolhaas-designed building, which
opened just last Sunday. If not, you can read about in a recent New Yorker
article referenced below.
I don't pretend to know anything about architecture, and I've never worked
in a public library. But I do find this building fascinating. It's an
interesting mix of utilitarian and whimsical. You'll encounter great
finding aids, like call numbers prominently displayed on the floor next to
each row of shelves. And yet I don't believe I could ever learn how the
layout of this delightful mess works. Stairs sneak under escalators,
escalators bypass floors, floors surprisingly beget other floors. Eleven
stories of funky furniture, flooring, fixtures, and finishes.
But what strikes me most is how social a place this is. Sure, many are
here to enjoy an initial tour, but there are a wide variety of
group-oriented seating areas. This is clearly a place to hang out and enjoy
the view. What's missing is a café, though here it's quite possible that,
despite hitting just about every floor, I just missed it.
Oh, and naturally, a few seats away from me there's a guy who's been
stridently snoring for the past hour. Damn, I wish I had my camera with me
so I could make him famous.
Anyway, definitely stop by next time you're in Seattle!
BLOUG PERMALINK & COMMENTS
SPL Central Library ::
New Yorker article on SPL ::
SPL Central Library slide show ::