The Seattle Public Library's Central Library
is the flagship library of The Seattle Public Library system. The 11-story (185 feet or 56.9 meters high) glass and steel building in downtown Seattle, Washington was opened to the public on Sunday, May 23, 2004. Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN were the principal architects, Magnusson Klemencic Associates was the structural engineer with Arup
In 2007, the building was voted #108 on the American Institute of Architects' list of Americans' 150 favorite structures in the US.
The architects conceived the new Central Library building as a celebration of books, deciding after some research that despite the arrival of the 21st century and the "digital age," people still respond to books printed on paper. The 11-story Central Library has a capacity for over 1.5 million books, in comparison to only 900,000 in the old library building. The architects also worked to make the library inviting to the public, rather than stuffy, which they discovered was the popular perception of libraries as a whole.
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