A tower of books is encased inside a glass pyramid at this public library that Dutch firm MVRDV have completed in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands.Named Book Mountain, the building contains a spiralling trail of staircases, pathways and terraces that create a 480 metre-long route through five floors of bookshelves towards a cafe beneath the pyramid’s apex.
The library’s glass form sits on top of a rectilinear brick base to give it a similar overall shape to the archetypal Dutch farmhouse, with low-rising walls, a large sloping roof and even a brick chimney.
Visitors enter the library on the first floor and arrive in front of the bookshelf tower, which also integrates a reception counter.
Unwanted flowerpots were recycled to provide the material for the shelves, which the architects describes as being both ”fireproof and economic”.
The architects also acknowledge the hazard to books caused from direct sunlight through the glass roof, and claim that “damage to the books by sunlight is offset by their normal four year lifespan due to wear and tear from borrowing.”
As well as library facilities, the building also contains an auditorium, an education centre, meeting rooms, offices, shops and a chess club.