The 21st Century Library: Stuttgart Municipal

Ever walk into an Apple store and think, “HEY, I wish all this freakishly immaculate white space was filled with books instead of iPads”? OK, probably not, but if you DID, it might look something like the Stuttgart Municipal Library.


This brand spanking new space designed by Yi Eun-young has been controversial since its inception. Some think it doesn’t fit into the environment; some think it’s not old-school library-ish enough.



But what is library-ish, anyway? Sure, I’m romanced by dark wood paneling and hidden corners and curlicues and all the Greek and Roman architecture so many of us are drawn to. But whether we like it or not, the very idea of what a “21st Century Library” is is changing every day, and innovation can be just as fascinating as dust and history. While I haven’t been to the Stuttgart Library myself, some of the ideas within it remind me of the magnificent and modern Seattle Central Library, one of the best places I’ve ever been. Old is interesting; new can be interesting, too.



And it’s not all completely cold and austere. Some smaller details, captured by Kiki of Through a Lay(wo)man’s Lens, definitely upped the comfy factor in my mind.

Plus, there’s a cafe on the top floor and a rooftop garden. Who doesn’t like those? Now that I’m thinking about it, why don’t ALL libraries have cafes?

What do you think of this 21st Century library? Do you think it is a 21st Century library?


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