Libraries have the ability to symbolize the character of a nation. As public buildings and community centers, they reflect how highly we value learning, cultural exchange and social life. From small free libraries to monumental institutions, these buildings promote human knowledge and imagination. There is a balance of media information and writing, after almost everything has been digitized. The libraries enable diverse programs, from bookstacks and research laboratories to auditoriums and tailor-made lecture theaters. Adapting to the needs of readers and those of the modern world is the key to popularity here. This built-in flexibility enhances library life and creates space for future generations. Over time, we identify with these places and they begin to shape our cultural heritage.
To better illustrate this idea, we have put together eight unique national libraries from around the world in a picture gallery. All library buildings shown here are architecturally spectacular. Built to arouse curiosity, they house rich history and continue to nurture the cultural heritage of the nations. As gear wheels for promoting intercultural communication and understanding between representatives of different nations, libraries have high national values while at the same time they belong to the broader public. They blur spatial boundaries, encourage creative projects and new ideas, and show how they anticipate future development trends in our dynamic world. These temples of knowledge are characterized by active and long-standing collecting activity of valuable books and manuscripts, their exchange and storage. There you will find not only large reading rooms, but also comfortable rooms for relaxation and exchange of ideas. Together, they show how we can build knowledge and define new places for exploring our shared values.
National Taitung University Library and Information Center, Taiwan
Taiwan's national library and information center in Taitung is located between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Built as a landform architecture, the project aimed to connect school and lake areas with an abstract mountain volume with residential zones. And this has obviously been achieved through this spectacular construction.
The roof greening of the building is surprisingly large!
So quiet and delightful in the midst of a seascape, the university building attracts all attention
The National Technical Library in Prague, Czech Republic
Inspired by the building context and historical city map of Prague, the National Technical Library in the Czech capital was designed to combine and express monumentality and modernity in one. A nearby park and social places balance the building. Here, the technology infrastructure and numerous reading rooms offer the best opportunities to bring together and learn many people.
The modern construction of the National Technical Library in Prague
Reading rooms on different floors
National Library in Cairo, Egypt
The proposal of the architects of Buro A.D. For the Cairo National Library hit the bullseye, because the imposing library building is located exactly where numerous people from different social strata come closer: tourist routes, the old route of the Nile and the metro line of Cairo intersect here. Connected to Tahrir Square, the project uncovers Egyptian history while promoting exchanges between different groups of users.
Picture 5: The National Library in Cairo looks attractive during the day and at night
The National Library in Cairo looks attractive during the day and at night
Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, designed by Snøhetta
Snøhetta's design for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina brought the Norwegian company into international spotlight. Adjacent to the city's historic city center and old harbor, the library also includes other cultural and educational sites such as a museum, school and planetarium. Formally, a tilted, circular volume forms, while a pedestrian bridge, a reflective pool and an open space connect the building spatially with its nearby surroundings.
The library in Alexandria is a real eye-catcher from every angle
Modern and functional
... with large reading rooms, rich book collections
National Library of China by KSP Jürgen Engel Architects, Beijing, China
The National Library of China project was planned to complement the old building, which houses over 12 million books and a new digital library, as well as the "Si Ku Quan Shu" manuscript collection. The digital library is housed in a building that seems to hover above the reading rooms and reference zones. At the core of the library is a glazed vault containing the manuscripts.
Do you already know Beijing? Then you are surely impressed by the National Library of China
Spacious reading rooms invite to scientific studies
The protruding upper part looks like it is floating above the ground
National Public Information Library, designed by J.J. Pan and Partners, Taichung, Taiwan
The National Library of Taiwan was designed and built in a dynamic way that relates to 18th century irrigation channels. The design has taken into account the changing nature of libraries and the impact of digital media. Thus, the building has spaces flowing into each other, a captivating design and limitless possibilities for the realization of diverse cultural events.
The National Library in Taichung, Taiwan is housed in this imposing structure
The library is easily accessible by various means of transport
King Fahad National Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The King Fahad National Library in Riyadh is an ingenious design of Gerber architects. The unique building rises in the new center of Riyadh, connecting King Fahad Street and Olaya Street, the two main thoroughfares of the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A facade of the library building looks like textile awnings shaped in rhombuses. These are supported by a cable structure and allow plenty of natural light to flood into the interiors. On the other hand, readers and visitors to the library can admire magnificent views from within the city.
A unique architecture to admire
One of the facades of the library building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, immediately catches the eye
National Library of Israel, designed by Herzog & de Meuron
The design by Herzog & de Meuron for the National Library of Israel includes book storage rooms, a visitor center, open work spaces and a central reading room. The renewal of the library provides topographic planning and sculptural stonework, resulting in an impressive end result.
Imposing stone structure houses the National Library of Israel
The central reading room is well lit during the day and at night