The giant cylinder of Stockholm Public Library’s central room will inspire a complex mixture of feelings in book lovers. It’s not awe – while the room is certainly big, the large, airy space is nothing you won’t have experienced in, say, a cathedral. Nor is it (if you’ll forgive the pun) volume – the three tiers of bookshelves hold a fair few thousand publications, but regular library visitors will no doubt have seen collections of comparable (and larger) size elsewhere. And then you realise that what’s impressive is just the beautiful simplicity and functionality of the space: from any spot on any balcony, you can easily identify every other part of the room (including whichever section you’re looking for), and the curving sweep of mismatched spines indicates that these are books for reading, not display. And that in itself is quietly reassuring and satisfying.
Stockholm Public LibraryA beautifully simple cylinder of books for literature lovers
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