Monday, January 8, 2007

A Coliseum of Beauty and Books

"C. S. Lewis’s World-Between-the-Worlds –
that magical, mystical place, hushed and unhurried,
where visitors could enter a thousand different worlds by jumping into different pools – always seemed to me to be the perfect metaphor for a library.
Trips to the library with my mother are, in my memory,
even more thrilling than trips to the sweet shop,
and when I got my eldest daughter a library card
I felt as though I had bought her citizenship of that same fabulous world."
~JK Rowling.

I love libraries.
Libraries are warehouses for cool, interesting, intellectual people who thirst for knowledge and information. I always find something calm and relaxing about the atmophere of a library - people reading, the solitude, the endless aisles of worlds to be read and experienced... an aura of imagination and enlightenment.

The designs of libraries also fascinates me... how the all those wonderful books can be contained in one building, most massive in size and scope. I always wondered as a little girl how they were able to sort and stack all those books and display them in such an orderly and methodical arrangement... aisle after aisle.

My most favourite library of all is Vancouver Public Library...

The Roman coliseum-style design was created by architect Moshe Safdie, who won an international competition in 1991. The elegant linear design of Vancouver Library Square occupies a complete city block and consists of a seven-story rectangular block containing stacks and services. The highlight of the project is a free-standing elliptical wall that contains reading and study areas accessed by bridges from the central pavilion. The roof of the library is also green friendly serving as a large public garden.

Oh how I love to visit... it is breathtaking, stunning, and awesome. And I get to experience a taste of historic Rome downtown Vancouver...!

(images via Flickr)

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