Did Someone Just Sneeze?

Czech National Library

Another quick post, mainly due to the fact that I can’t find all that much out about this project because of two reasons. Firstly I have search engine issues (schlechte zeiten), and secondly because the architectural design firm Future Systems has dissolved after the husband and wife duo Jan Kaplicky and Amanda Levete have separated.  Needless to say, this isn’t a design that I particularly like overall, as I feel the exterior architecture of the building resembles some form of cross breeding between a children’s TV character and a disease infected blanket.

 However there is an aspect about the design that I find really interesting.  The use of an automated book storage and retrieval system means that the majority of the books are stored in a large basement and are automatically selected and sent up to the floor they have been requested on by a intelligent computer system.  The reason I like this is because in my current project I am questioning whether libraries really do need to be full of books anymore?  Most reference information can be found online and through going to libraries I have established that there are other activities which people use library spaces for.

As Future Systems is no longer, their website has been archived, but if you do want to know more about this (hideous) building, then I recommend this TreeHugger article.


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