As an avid reader and lover of architecture, I have always been fascinated by libraries and reading spaces. To me, there is no happier place. To walk into a library, knowing it contains other realms, magic you have never dreamt of, people’s life work, or the ability to discover something you are not yet aware exists, is almost overwhelming.
For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
A library of any size, any design, any organisation, can feel like home. These spaces are created to evoke emotion, mindfulness and wonder. Entering any library is a peaceful experience. The magic is that it seems to have the same effect on everyone! People are quiet, considerate and contemplative in these spaces.
The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us.
I don’t believe books or the concept of libraries are threatened by technological advances, which is brilliant because it means we are seeing less musty civic halls as more architects design these spaces with beauty and longevity in mind.
Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.
It’s not often we get to work on architectural CGIs for library spaces, but when we do they are always my favourite! The header image at the top of this page is a recent home library we did for Masonite.
A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.
We know how important libraries are for individuals and communities, which is why they remain an integral part of building planning and as a result need to be considered by architects and created by architectural visualisation artists like ours.
As an avid library go-er and grower* I hope that they always remain a considered space and we continue to evolve and improve upon their designs for the better. What do you think?
*the image above is my personal home library.