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Brief Published: 12 Oct 2012

Book Mountain Library, MVRDV Architects


Dutch architects MVRDV has created a €30m ($39m) public library for the town of Spijkenisse, Holland. Conceived as a monumental physical homage to reading, the super space is so imposing it’s been dubbed ‘Book Mountain’.

Ten years in the making, the impressive library – whose blocky exterior was inspired by a traditional Dutch farmhouse as a nod to the area’s agricultural past – is now open to the public.

The structure, which is predominantly glass and timber, conceals a five-storey tower made from nearly 10,000 ft of bookshelves. The shelves gradually slope up towards the roof – a physical symbol of the libraries desire that visitors should become completely immersed within the library’s content. A café is located on top of an interior tower, presenting stunning views of the surrounding town.

For a deeper insight into the evolution of library design as they transform into community-focused mega-centres ripe for brand affiliations, look out for our report Libraries – New Cultural Superstores, publishing on October 19 2012.

For a deeper more on MVRDV’s work and its forthcoming multifunctional building known as the Glass Farm – a space similarly inspired by agricultural values – see our report Transparent Architecture.