Essential Magazine February 2017

Page 46

p THE FOCUS libraries



d l r o W e h t in

Despite the rise in popularity of e-readers, the love of printed books will never cease. Nor will we ever do away with libraries – the vessels of academia that intellectuals hold near and dear to their hearts. Today’s libraries differ vastly from those of a few decades ago, since most embrace new technological developments and indeed, make technology a central part of the experience. It is no surprise, therefore, that in this day and age, new libraries continue to be built. In this article, we bring you a tiny selection of some of the world’s most stunning libraries – old and new, all ideal spots to discover something about the world – or yourself – so you can write the story of your life with greater information, artistry and imagination. WORDS MARISA CUTILLAS PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE RESPECTIVE LIBRARIES OR AS CREDITED


There is something incredibly calming about studying or reading in the midst of lush natural surrounds and this is exactly what academics at the Taipei Public Library in Beitou are fortunate enough to do. Everything about this eco-library celebrates nature, with features such as solar panels, natural ventilation and water reclamation reducing its carbon footprint. Spacious open-air balconies are the perfect spot to curl up with your favourite book and there are many to choose from – over 63,000 in fact, with a large selection dedicated to environmental sustainability. “The building was designed to “breathe,” said Kuo Ying-Chao, the architect, and indeed his philosophy makes sense. Reading is a unique time in which to relax and destress, and the presence of natural wood lends the space a cosy ambience that engenders a sense of mindfulness.

© 玄史生


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