Posted by: bluesyemre | August 2, 2021

‘A cultural masterpiece’: the world’s best new public libraries – in pictures

On Monday, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) announced the five finalists for the annual Public Library of the Year award, which honours newly built public libraries. Libraries are assessed according to how they combine functional architecture, information technology, and local culture. This year’s shortlisted institutions include libraries in Australia, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and China.

Marrickville library, Australia

Located in Sydney’s inner west, the new Marrickville library is a three-storey, 3,600m² purpose-built library. It was constructed on the site of the long-closed Marrickville hospital. The hospital was shuttered in 1990. The council acquired the land a few years later and had planned to build a community centre there. They didn’t get development approval until 2017.

Photograph: The Moment It Clicks Pty Ltd/Inner West Council

Het Predikheren, Mechelen, Belgium

This building, now a public library, is a former monastery abandoned in 1975. The whole baroque building has been restored and has a square ring outlay, with the outer ring consisting of office spaces and classrooms and an inner ring with a courtyard, attic and church. ‘The features of the original construction have been rigorously respected,’ the IFLA judges say.

Photograph: Jasper Jacobs/PA Images

Deichman Bjørvika, Oslo, Norway

This five-storey waterfront library holds up to 450,000 books under its large skylight. Sitting next to the Oslo Opera House, the library was renovated as part of the Fjord City urban renewal project.

Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Forum Groningen, the Netherlands

Described as a ‘cultural department store’, this building holds not only a library but also a cinema, exhibition space, parts of the Groninger Museum, a media lab, restaurant and rooftop terrace.

Photograph: Lars Fortuin/Alamy

Ningbo New Library, Ningbo, China

About 200km south of Shanghai, the Ningbo New Library is a cultural hub, comprising a children’s library, a 24-hour library, a library for the visually impaired, two lecture halls, a café, and a grand reading room. The ground floor connects to a public plaza and a wetland.

Photograph: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects/Adam Mørk

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