Stunning libraries from around the world – in pictures

‘Without libraries we have no past and no future,’ said Ray Bradbury. A new book celebrates the most innovative library buildings. Take a whirlwind tour with our gallery

Seattle Central Library
Seattle Central library, Washington, USA. The top-floor reading room offers views of Puget Sound and the surrounding mountains. Designed by OMA/LMN, completed in 2004. Photograph: Frank Elschner/Artur Images


Seattle Central Library
Interior, Seattle Central library. Photograph: Frank Elschner/Artur Images


Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects, Client: University of Aberdeen, Area: 15,500 m  , Construction sum:     40 million excl. VAT, Competition: 2005, 1st prize in restricted international competition, Status: Construction period 2009 - 2011, Engineer: Arup & Partners Ltd, Quantity Surveyors: Davis Langdon LLP, Landscape Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects.
Sir Duncan Rice library, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. A building inspired by ‘the ice and light of the north’, with eight storeys housing 13km of bookshelves. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, 2012. Photograph: Adam Mørk


Johannes A. Lasco Bibliothek, Emden - Alte Kirche Emden Architektur: Jochen Bunse (Bj.1995)
John à Lasco library, Emden, Germany. This 16th-century church was bombed in the second world war and remained a ruin until the 1990s, when it was incorporated into a new library building. Jochen Bunse, 1995. Photograph: Tomas Riehle


Johannes A. Lasco Bibliothek, Emden - Alte Kirche Emden Architekt: Jochen Bunse (Bj.1995).
Interior, John à Lasco library. Photograph: Tomas Riehle

Full Gallery

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