In a community with 10 percent illiteracy, the Book Mountain library in Spijkenisse, Netherlands, is designed as an advert for reading. The books within are visible from all sides of the glass dome library (officially opened today), especially from the adjacent market square where it appears as one big book mountain. Damage to the books by sunlight is off-set by their normal 4 year life-span due to wear and tear from borrowing.
Besides the library, the building houses an environmental education centre, auditorium, meeting rooms, commercial offices, retail, and a chess club. The exterior of the building refers in shape and materials to the traditional Dutch farm, a reminder of the towns agricultural past.
Above photo by Frank Dinger
The book platforms are connected via wide stairs and form a continuous route of 480 metres to the mountains peak where a café (below) gives panoramic views over the town.
Another reference to the towns agricultural past lies in the libraries bookshelves. Made of recycled flowerpots, they are simultaneously fireproof and economic, and accompany the visitors through the building by taking on the functions of banister, parapet, information desk and bar. Bookshelves out of reach house the library archive.
Total budget incl. parking: 30 million (I'm guessing euros)
Start project: 2003
Start construction: May 2009
Opening: October 2012
Amount of books: 70,000 with space for another 80,000.
My kind of library.