I got a chance to stop in at the Seattle Public Library a couple weeks ago. In case you didn’t hear about it Seattle has a $165 million dollar library designed by Rem Koolhaas.
There are a couple good articles about the building at the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Seattle Times. They have a ton of great pictures and floor plans. I took some photos of the signage system while I was there that I’ll put on the second page of this post. Additionally the Metropolis magazine had and article about the process of getting this library designed and built. Many of us at the Walker can relate I’m sure. The same magazine also ran a short interview with Mr. Koolhaas. (Thanks for the tip Adam)
It’s great to see another non-profit taking big risks with architecture, and judging from the amount of people using this library I guess this would be a success.
Escalators, elevators, staircases and large transition areas between floors were called out with this bright yellow color. Since much of the building is sloping ramps this kind of call out is surprsingly helpful.
These are the buttons in the elevator. Notice the whitish area is the shape of the building itself. Each buttons height corresponds to the height of the floor it represents.
Shelving labels are indicated by numbers set into the floor in the pathway between shelves.
Each room has a sign in large type integrated into the structure. In this case “mixing chamber” appears on the counter.
Most of the escalators were illuminated from the inside which made it hard to photograph the type on them. This one was turned off for some reason so i snapped a picture of the sign. Notice each escalator tells you in large type where you are going when your on it.