Book Mountain - Spijkenisse, The Netherlands
MVRDV designed this unique building near Rotterdam with 9,300 square meters of glass, stairs, and reading material culminating into a wide open reading space at the top, to challenge the intimidating stuffiness of libraries of old.
Featuring a huge glass and timber outer shell, this astounding library is a tiered, five-story structure similar to a pyramid, with books stacked on shelves that wind around brick walls. Quite the spectacle at night, and filled with natural light during the day, the building was meant to symbolize accessibilty to literature and learning. Its beacon-like design and naturally flowing open spaces house over 70,000 books, and the building runs on a graywater system and the racks are made of recycled KLP plastics.
Book Mountain won the Dutch National Wood award in 2012, and is a public library.