2016 WORLD LUX  6A. 8. JAPAN - Kanazawa Umimirai Library WORLD LUXURY 2016 JPG





Kanazawa Umimirai Library




Libraries in Japan have typically operated as institutions to acquire and lend books. The architects of the Kanazawa Umimirai Library, Kazumi Kudo and Hiroshi Horiba of Coelacanth K&H Architects, created a space to encourage readers to remain inside the library, a public space that would bring the community closer together and promote social interaction.


Located in the rapidly developing city of Kanazawa, the library opened in 2011. It consists of three floors that are covered in a large white box the architects call the “cake box”. These exterior walls, or “punching walls”, contain 6,000 holes of three different diameters, each filled with translucent glass, which allows the light to enter in a scattered and indirect manner, generating a calming effect. They also prevent the reader from looking outside, creating an introverted and concentrated environment. This allowed the architects to achieve their goal of imitating a forest – a single space that is quiet and serene.


In contrast to the current trend towards digital reading, this library was intended as a “homage to the printed book”. The heart of the library is the large reading room, where visitors can experience the pleasure of reading in a space surrounded by books with a vast physical presence.


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