Rational Beauty

Vasconcelos Library

Every architect I know would love to design a library, the modern temple of knowledge. It’s a demanding and prestigious project. One of my favorites is the Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City. Winners of an open competition which elicited 590 proposals were Alberto Kalach, Juan Palomar, Gustavo Lipkau and Tonatiuh Martinez.

I’m drawn to how the books are distributed in large metal cages that hang from the five levels of the building and appear like floating clouds of knowledge above the long reading hall. The Library includes a music room and an auditorium that seats 520 people. A botanical garden with vegetation characteristic of the Valley of Mexico surrounds and protects the building from noise and creates a more intimate environment in the reading rooms.

Check out this interview with Alberto Kalach by Jose Castillo for Bomb magazine. Click.

The photography is by Tomas Casademunt.

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I’m drawn to how the books are distributed in large metal cages that hang from the five levels of the building and appear like floating clouds of knowledge above the long reading hall.

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