Photos Of Europe’s Finest Libraries By Thibaud Poirier

“Reading is solitude,” Italo Calvino once said, embodying the inspiration behind this series. These temples of cultural worship gather communities, and yet the literary experience, and therefore the experience of a library, remains solitary. It is with an eye towards this improbable bled of public space and private experience that Thibaud Poirier displays some of the finest libraries, both classical and modern, across Europe. Poirier’s perspective pays homage to the personal touches and interpretations of literature that these architects brought to each library. Like fingerprints, each architect crafted his vision for a new space for this sacred self-exploration. These seemingly minute details are everywhere, from the balance of natural and artificial light to optimise reading yet preserve ancient texts to the selective use of studying tables to either foster community or encourage lonely reflection. The selection of these libraries that span space, time, style and cultures were carefully selected for each one’s unique ambiance and architectural contribution. This is reflected in Poirier’s tasteful use of symmetry to highlight classical values of beauty, and the strong visual interpretation of the solitude that one feels when immersed in reading.

Chinese Library With Black Mirror Glass Reflecting Books

Architecture firm XL-Muse has completed ‘Yangzhou Chongshuge’, a library located in Zhen Yuan, China. The concept was based on the idea of water and how it is the cradle and breeding ground of the Yangzhou culture. Another important element was the arch bridge – an indispensable traditional element used as a guiding factor of commerce, which will represent in the bookstore the connection between human and books throughout history. As visitors walk in, they are welcomed by the arched walls which turn into ceilings that contain the books. The use of a black mirrored glass as floors reflects the bookshelves while giving a feeling of water. As the visitor continues the journey inside the library designed by XL-Muse, more books will appear on the right side. This also follows the study of the relationship between bridge and river, using all kinds of arches to connect the different zones. The sense of mystery created by the soft light allows readers to get lost in thousands of stories. The wavy space maintains enough room for visitors to sit and share ideas together during the reading activity.