The Rebirth of Community

Internet is taking the place of books as a means for research resulting in some libraries downgrading their inventory and priority on providing physical reading materials. In an effort to reestablish books’ importance and significance, KARO Architekten has designed and developed an open air library in a small community in Magdeburg, Germany. The building itself is recognized as a bookshelf while the plaza offers the citizens of Magdeburg a place for social interaction. Located on a corner of three major intersecting streets, the 5,000 square foot project gives the neighborhood the revitalization it desperately needed.

This project was initiated by the community and through the use of beer crates, reused remains of a local warehouse, and the donations of books form the locals, the library was constructed and filled in June of 2010. The German based firm was able to construct the new landmark on the very limited budget of $400,000.

Many refer to it as a library of confident, since anyone in the community is are to take one of the 30,000 books without any registration. The community is trusted to bring the borrowed books back in a timely fashion and the shelves are always open – 24/7. Not only does the library serve as a location for the spreading of knowledge, but it also functions as central gathering place, in the community, for arts like poetry, singing, and music.

by Joshua Hines and Christoph Stahel

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