The Amsterdam Central Library is the largest library in Europe, with 10 floors, 1200 seats, 600 internet stations, and 200 staff. They also have an auditorium, a museum, and a parking lot for 2000 bicycles. The 7th floor has a lovely restaurant, and we stopped by there on Monday morning to grab some breakfast. The exterior is a little heavy, but the interior is so light and lovely that I would gladly come here to study, or just to hang out!
The museum opened in 2007 at a cost of €80 million. But I think it’s worth every penny! This place is what a library really should be: a public palace. A monument to learning. It’s fantastic!
Look at these super cool nooks in the children’s area. They provide a discrete place for children to read and learn, and also express themselves without bothering other patrons.
The building was designed by Jo Coenen, the former state architect for the Netherlands. He also designed the central library in Maastricht as well as the Glaspaleis in Heerlen. Now we’ll have to make another trip back to Holland to see these places!
This is the view from the top. The cantilevered overhang did seem a bit obstructive, and awkward because the area directly above was open to the rain. But overall the design is fantastic. In the background here you can see the NEMO science center.