Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bookish travel: Neue Stadtbücherei Augsburg

Newly renovated and open to the public, the Neue Stadtbücherei - the New City Library - in Augsburg is an invitation and inspiration to reading. It is situated in the central Ernst Reuter Platz no.1, close to the historical city center, on the original location of its first official opening in 1920.
The architectural concept was elaborated by the architecture company Schrammel Architekten, based on the binome: Open Book-Open House (Offenes Buch - Offenes Haus). The main source of light is coming from the geometrically asymetric roof openings, which melts the natural light into the various reflections of the material used to cover the crevasses. Especially during the summer days, the time when I visited the library, it covers the entire building in a warm and cosy light.
The predominant colour is orange, with traces of pistachio green and white, which embraces the entire space into a warming cover. The choice of colours is aimed to outline the feeling of being welcomed, whatever your age and your social status, as long as you love books. During my short stay there, a Friday afternoon, the people were coming and going, bringing or taking home books. The library also has a Lesekaffee - Reading Coffee -, a social meeting point of book lovers from Augsburg. 
This library is one of the four important bookish centers in the city. It has over 170,000 books and almost 200 publications. As in the case of many libraries in Germany - at least this is the case in Berlin -, it uses a high-tech electronic system of registering the delivery and recording the books taken. 

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