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Reflections: Libraries, Foreword by Bjarne Hammer


As libraries across Britain are threatened by further spending cuts, this magnificently illustrated exploration of 44 of the world’s finest, most innovative, and spectacular examples is timely. According to Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451: “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

Libraries is a visual exploration of how cultures around the world have responded to the impulse to protect and interact with the written word; for the story of the human experience is told not only in the books upon a library’s shelves, but also in its architecture. Readers are invited into the most ornate libraries, lauded universities, and innovative design works on earth; the mannerist and the ultra-modern, the opulent and the austere.

Bjarne Hammer, founding partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects, writes in the foreword: “We, as architects, have a unique opportunity to design libraries which support new ways for people to meet, interact and share knowledge.”