Library Architecture in Exotic Overseas Locations

Following the library architecture within Japan that was introduced in the previous issue, this time, we would like to introduce our readers to some overseas library architecture, for those of you who must want to pay a visit some libraries with an atmosphere that is different from that of Japan.

・Centre Pompidou, France
・Kaohsiung Public Library, Taiwan
・Tauranga Central Library, New Zealand
・Vancouver Public Library, Canada

1.Centre Pompidou, France

The Pompidou Center is a cultural complex in Paris designed by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. It is famous for housing the National Museum of Modern Art, but the public library on the first to third floors of the building also enjoys great popularity and is crowded every day.
The highlight of the building is the innovative design with escalators, elevators, and piping, which is all laid bare. The piping is color-coded and can be enjoyed as part of the design. By placing the piping and equipment outside, the interior is pillar-less, creating a large, airport-like space.
The Pompidou Center has announced that it will be closed from the end of 2023 to the end of 2026 for the complete renovation of the building. If you want to visit, now is the time!

2.Kaohsiung Public Library, Taiwan

The new general building of the Kaohsiung Public Library stands out for its uniqueness. It was designed jointly by Japanese architect Toyo Ito and the Taiwanese firm of Ricky Liu & Associates Architects+planners. The exterior is a square glass-walled structure with outstanding transparency, which emits light at night.
The spacious interior of the building has a suspended structure that minimizes the number of visible pillars, creating a space that is easy to walk around. A garden on the rooftop provides a refreshing change of pace from the city.
The new general building of the Kaohsiung Public Library was designed to be an environmentally friendly public building that connects nature and culture. The simple design, greenery surrounding the building, and quiet and comfortable space provide a pleasant reading experience

3.Tauranga Central Library, New Zealand

Tūranga, Christchurch’s modern, eye-catching central library in Christchurch, New Zealand, was the first public facility to open in the area, which was severely damaged by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.
In designing the building, the architects worked with the Matapopore Charitable Trust, an organization dedicated to realizing the values, aspirations, and stories of the local Maori Ngāi Tūāhuriri people. Their aim was to incorporate traditional knowledge and culture into the design, from the building materials to the spatial arrangement.
The library, a modern building with a sense of culture and tradition, is a symbol of recovery and is loved by residents and visitors alike.

4.Vancouver Public Library, Canada

The Vancouver Public Library is a grand, large, spiraling space. Together with federal offices and stores, the library forms a section known as Vancouver Library Square, which is both a quiet place of study for the public and an important community gathering place. The structure of the building is a nine-story rectangle with the stacks located in the center. An oval colonnade with reading and study areas, wraps around the entire stack area. In addition, a concourse located on the east side of the site encloses the library and serves a its landmark.
A park on the roof of the library and a café on the ground level provide easy access to the socializing and rest areas.

In this issue, we have introduced library architecture from all over the world.
We hope that whenever you visit a library, you will take a look at its architecture as well.


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