I’m cheating a little with this one. See, the National Library of Israel is definitely a cool bookish place, but it doesn’t strictly….exist. At least not yet.
At this point, the library is in its design and competition phase, but Moshe Safdie, just released high-resolution renderings of his proposed design, and it is marvelous.
Light, airy, and open, Safdie’s design manages to put the national library’s collection on display, accommodate patrons in inviting workspaces, and do it while making the building responsive to its geography. The most striking feature, the tent-like light permeable roof, creates the main reading room for the library, which as a result is remarkably open, even as the exterior of the building feels itself like a monument, and it is clad in textured Jerusalem stone.
The site of the proposed library is in the Jerusalem’s central district and close to an array of cultural and government offices. There’s still a long way to go in this process, but this design is going to be tough to beat.
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