The whiteness of the walls.

I’ll spare the twenty page monologue on whiteness (looking at you, Melville).  I won’t even mention the symbolic might of the eight story floor to ceiling bleached walls, staircases, and shelves. not a word of the gleaming light that bounced from wall to wall of this 40-meter cubical building shall leave my fingertips. 

this library has the marvelous ability of turning people into ants. standing at the corner of the top floor, peering over the barred ledge, each human can be seen scurrying around the mazelike floors—the books appearing like small fruits that have been gathered and stored away for the winter months.

an unusual trait of this aseptic, manicured space is its creativity. the eight floor houses a microscopic library of paintings and artwork that is available for public viewing. the ground floor is the site of a massively tall empty hall whose ceiling provides the main structural foundation for the open concept of the upper floors. the architect, Eun Young Yi, this room is the “Heart” of the library.

as a new municipal library (built in 2011), this institution starkly contrasts with many of the other libraries I have and will soon visit. a second consequence of the library belonging to the municipality is how visibly it reflects the current day aesthetic of the city of Stuttgart—sleek, modern, clean, streamlined.

despite my very short visit, I managed to find an open door on the top floor and climb up to the roof, which provides a vast view of a large part of the city. left and right, construction can be seen, as the skyline gets higher and higher. still, though, you can see glimpses of traditional small, colourful houses tucked away into the rolling hills of the German landscape.

 

                                   Stuttgart Public Library | Stuttgart, Germany