The Village of Joy online entertainment magazine has listed the 50 strangest and most peculiar buildings in the world – and three bizarre libraries made the list. No, the Helsinki Central Library is not one of the shortlisted freaky buildings. Instead, the high-ranking strange sights come from Kansas and San Diego in the US and Minsk in Belarus.
The UCSD Geisel Library in San Diego is an extravagant sight. Built in late 1960s, the university library designed by William Pereira was renewed to its current form in 1995 by Gunnar Birkerts. With the renewal, the library was re-named after Audrey and Theodor Geisel – the famous children’s writer also known as Dr. Seuss. The huge, eight-storey chunk of glass and concrete is not exactly something you would praise as beautiful, but it sure takes the points for originality in appearance.
The freaky library in Belarus is also quite an impressive sight. When the national library, originally built in 1922, was in 2006 transferred to a new 72-metre and 22-storey building in the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron, it became one of the marvels of contemporary architecture. The library truly is a marvel, especially by night as it is illuminated with 4,646 LED lights in a multitude of colours. The library is situated on a beautiful location by the river bank and the vantage point gives a great view of the city of Minsk. The library park is used as a venue for concerts and performances.
However, the winner of the race for the freakiest libraries is the Kansas City Public Library in the state of Missouri, the US. The building itself states its purpose: the facade resembles an enormous book shelf with giant copies of classics such as The Lord of The Rings, Romeo and Juliet and even Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel that was once banned from the public. Kansas residents picked out the facade novels themselves. The library is very impressive both in terms of its visual appearance but also due to its active role as the top city attraction: the library arranges daily film showings, game nights for teenagers, poetry sessions for kids and all kinds of events, such as rap evenings, to the public.
So, here are a few international benchmarks for designing the Central Library building and its services!
Minsk National Library (Minsk, Belarus)
Geisel Library (San Diego, California, USA)