Seattle Central Library: the so-called "living room"--page 3 (of 8 pages)

Rem Koolhaas

An inviting public space

As Kubo and Prat say,"The Living Room is the Library's great civic space: a place to sit, read, rest, meet colleagues, search the web, browse the fiction collection, snack, sightsee, and meet for coffee. As the major (and perhaps the only) free public space in downtown Seattle, the Living Room provides an inspiring and inviting amenity for the entire city" (93).

Looking toward the Fifth Avenue entrance

The stairs and bright yellow escalator (color-coded) lead down to the auditorium.

Unfiltered daylight

The glass is transparent in most public areas but mesh is embedded in the glass to control the light in areas where translucence is preferred--like book stacks and some work spaces.

The library shop--closed

The store consists of several independent shelves fastened to rails on the floor. When closed, the shelves are wheeled together; when open, the shelves are wheeled apart so that customers can walk between the shelves stocked with merchandize. I bought the two books I have consulted (below) at this smallish store.

Left and center: looking toward Fourth Avenue (or west); right: looking south with gigantic elevator shaft to the side


The north east end of the living room level where the fiction section is housed


Fiction stacks at the far northeast corner

Works Cited or Consulted:

Michael Kubo and Ramon Prat. Seattle Public Library OMA/LMN. Barcelona: Actar, 2005.
Shannon Mattern. The New Downtown Library. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2007.

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© 2008 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.