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University of Zurich Faculty Law Library

In what used to be the courtyard of the University of Zurich Faculty Law Library, Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, created the additional space the library needed in unconventional fashion. He built a modern wing in stark contrast to the staid building designed in 1908 by Hermann Fietz. Calatrava's design consists of 6 oval rings around an elongated glazed skylight which illuminates the galleries and courtyard. The rings are lined with maple wood that add a rich tone finish to the design and define its space between the glass dome and the white stone floor of the ground floor.

The glass domed copper roof floods the library with natural light.
Study spaces are formed around the balustrades on each gallery, taking advantage of natural light. 
A closer look at the graceful curve of the dome.
The galleries float above the courtyard.
Horizontal windows cut across the outer shell of the galleries.
Rather than cover up the original courtyard, Santiago Calatrava decided to keep it and tur…

Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart - Inspiring Book Culture in a Cube

When I stepped off the elevator on the 8th floor of the Stadtbibliothek (City Library), I unconsciously said ¨wow¨. I had only seen the library in pictures and was captured by the design. Seeing it for the first time in person was truly a wow moment. It appeared I wasn't the only one who felt like this. I noticed that other people stood rooted to the spot just outside the elevator doors and were  staring at the expanse of sleek white space and books in colorful binding neatly stacked on shelves against the walls. 

Launched in 2011, the Stuttgart City Library was designed by Eun Young Yi, a Korean architect from Yi Architects of Cologne and Seoul. He describes the Stadtbibliothek as a "homogeneous, calm, monolithic building that contains a great many of the secret values of  our civilization. These values are neutralized and polished to the point where they possess a universal value that applies to all ages so that only our pure spirit are projected onto the material".

The …

Why Dublin is a fun city to explore

We arrived in Dublin in late April to overcast skies which quickly developed into rain.  But we decided to explore anyway. The rain didn't last long and by the time we got to Fleet Street from O'Connell Street, we were walking in chilly sunshine. All that rain keeps Ireland green so it can live up to its poetic nickname, The Emerald Isle.