Seattle Central Library

Concept model, Fall 1999
primary exterior
primary
interior
Escalator through Book Spiral to Reading Room
Living Room
Meeting Floor
Integrated seismic structure and facade
Children’s Collection

Objectives

The autonomy of SCL’s program clusters allows each to transform radically without hindering any other, while their self-navigation frees librarians to evolve from material managers to intellectual guides.

Context

As information is exploding and ubiquitously accessible, it is the provision of curatorship and social functions that makes the library—and librarians—essential.

Performance

SCL has increased circulation by 80% and patron visits by 50%, and has triggered enough downtown revenues to pay for its construction.

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Concept model, Fall 1999