Seattle Central Library -the perfect fusion of art and culture


Seattle Central Library -the perfect fusion of art and culture

The Central Library of Seattle is the flagship library of the Seattle Public Library system. At the same time, it is also OMA’s first classic work in the 21st century, and it is a well -known deconstruction building. It is located in the city center and is a building consisting of 11 floors (56 meters high) glass and steel. The museum was opened to the public on May 24, 2004.

The library is designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Hoffman Construction Company of Portland is a general contractor. This 34,000 square meters of public libraries accommodate about 1.45 million books and other information, including more than 400 computers to open to the public, and there is another underground public parking lot. The first year’s usage rate exceeded 2 million people. The library has a unique and prominent appearance that constitutes a number of separated “floating platforms”, just like being on a large spider web.


design concept

The form of the Seattle Library was very popular. The creation of the work comes from Kuhaas’ reflection on the library and its series of related concepts. Kurhaas believes that building such a library has specific space -time conditions:

(1) The network has changed the traditional library mode of collecting books, and there is no restriction on communication, so all spaces in the library should also have the characteristics of communication;

(2) The requirements for flexible arrangements make the library break the traditional single large space;

(3) The social responsibility of the library makes the building reflect as a multi -functional and connotative social center;

(4) Taking into account the equality of various information acquisition methods, then the impact of the book must be resolved;

(5) The limited nature of the base determines the vertical layout of each level of the library.

The epidermis of the library is a double -layer glass internal metal steel mesh. It can regulate the indoor climate, and it can soft outdoor light and use natural light to the maximum. The inner epidermis uses a metal net, creating a hazy beauty, which can play a role in dividing and blocking sight. The Seattle Center Library has changed the narrow definition of the “Library”, and in the original sense, it is just a place to read the place where the books are looking for books for a place where the information is stored. Here, any media is displayed equally and clearly. Today, information is available, and the synchronization of all information medium and the management of content have made the library very important. The entire library has a unique structure. The stagnant horizontal floor constitutes a variety of colorful spaces with different transparency, providing good conditions for people’s exchanges.

Design Features

The designer Kuhaas determined the integration and compression of the complex functions of the contemporary library and internal activities, reorganized into nine functional areas, and proposed the “5+4” block combination method, forming a 5 -scale physical entity The four virtual bodies formed with them, this operation method naturally forms an active public space between five relatively private function blocks, each serving its own special group. They are: office, books and related materials, interactive communication areas, commercial areas, and park areas. These five platforms poured up from the top, and finally formed a complex.


The spiral -shaped library is a unique space, using the method of fuzzy layer and layer. In addition, the entire spiral library adopts the Dewey’s decimal book classification system, which is arranged from “000” to “999” in the order number. The space between the platforms is like a trading area. “Different platform interaction interfaces are organized. These spaces may be used for work, or for communication, or for reading.” It has a special feeling of integration of space. The architectural shape forms a novel multi -angle structure with the changes of the platform area and position, and has some characteristics of new modernism. There is an Wright Gugenheim Museum -like staircase in the indoor interactive exchange area. The crushing space formed by this stairs is also one of the common techniques for Kurhaas.


There are many sponge chairs in the library, with bamboo floors, metal brushes, and plant patterns. The main reading area has a colorful carpet on the ground, and the artistic taste is full, creating a rich reading environment. The bold use of the internal space is another characteristic of the library. Different spaces are given different colors. The conference room adopts the form of full red with curves, creating a mysterious atmosphere. The stairs and ground are also red, which has a unique flavor. Different spaces are also set up with different ceilings. The reading room space uses a white ceiling, using its sound absorption effect to reduce indoor noise, thereby providing readers with a quiet reading environment. Black ceilings are used in lively traffic space. Different spaces penetrate each other, and different colors are alternately presented, and the soft and changing light provides readers with non -general experience.

The new library established a fund to build the entire library system, a total of 196.4 million US dollars, called the “Libraries for All”. Citizens approved on November 3, 1998, and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, also donated $ 20 million.

In 2007,


Seattle Central


Library was rated as one of the 150 favorite buildings by the American Architects.

Product Recommendation: Synthetic leather mid back high density foam chair home office swivel chair