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Lost in dimensions by CludesTomato

City Library in Stuttgart:

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Architect: Yi Architects
Location: Stuttgart,Germany
Opening Ceremony: October 21, 2011
Plot Area: 3 201 m²
Total Cost: € 79.0 million

Detailed description:

A striking detached square-shaped building, the library towers over the nearby buildings as a new intellectual and cultural centre. The cube of the City Library takes up 60% of the plot. On the lower ground floors, the ground is almost completely built up. The building is surrounded by a level area of hard-wearing dark green lawn.
The façade consists of 9 x 9 panels of glass bricks in a frame of light grey exposed concrete.
The shell of the building is designed as a double façade consisting of a glass brick layer and an inner mullion/transom façade which acts as a thermal shell for the building. The area between the façades can be used as a promenade, and will be lit up at night with blue lighting.
The library building can be accessed from all four sides. In the circular foyer there are book/media return machines – part of the book sorting equipment which can be seen operating behind glass walls. In addition, information boards, video installations, and areas where visitors can wait or read newspapers, are planned.
In the centre of the building lies its spatial and meditative heart: this is an archaic space type, that like the Pantheon makes reference to the cavern as an original place of human habitation. The source is a water feature measuring 1 m² right in the centre, installed flush with the ground.
The cube-shaped space is lit by light from the central opening (oculus). It is surrounded by staircases fromthe ground floor up to the 3 floor.
The reading room in the upper half of the Heart, from the 4 to the 8 floor, takes its inspiration from Étienne-Louis Boullée’s French National Library of the 18 century. Staircases arranged in pairs create flowing walkways between the floors. The stepped galleries extend the space in the shape of a funnel right up to the glass roof.
The Forum is a function room with around 300 seats that can be divided into two rooms. This is the third variation of the square space format, and is designed flat and disc-shaped, and it is a dark blue pastel colour throughout.
All the elements like shelving, groups of seats or individual work places can easily be arranged under the free-span mesh ceilings of the media presentation areas. Areas for seminars, or just spending time, such as the cafeteria on the 8 floor, Graphotheque and meeting rooms, are separated by no more than glass walls from the surrounding areas.
The workplaces of the administrative areas are lit with natural and anti-glare lighting. Wide step-free corridors and doors ensure the safe transport of the book trolleys. The glass roof consists of four axisymmetric penthouse roofs.
The supporting structure consists of 25 m long steel girders that intersect at the centre. At the top, there is solar protection with a photovoltaic system. The roof terrace, the fifth façade, completes the cube-like appearance of the building. Like the other façades, it is lit up blue when it is dark. It is linked by lifts, stairs and ramps to the 8 floor, where the viewing platform offers panoramic views over Stuttgart and the environs.

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