MVRDV: book mountain + library quarter, spijkenisse MVRDV: book mountain + library quarter, spijkenisse
oct 04, 2012

MVRDV: book mountain + library quarter, spijkenisse

‘book mountain + library quarter’ by MVRDV, spijkenisse, the netherlands image © jeroen musch all images courtesy of MVRDV

rotterdam-based MVRDV has just completed the ‘book mountain + library quarter’ centrally located in the market square of spijkenisse, the netherlands. a mountain of bookshelves is contained by a glass-enclosed structure and pyramidal roof with an impressive total surface area of 9,300 square meters. corridors and platforms bordering the form are accessed by a network of stairs to allow visitors to browse the tiers of shelves. a continuous route of 480 meters culminates at the peak’s reading room and cafe with panoramic views through the transparent roof. any possible damage caused to the books by direct sunlight is offset by the expected 4 year lifespan of borrowed materials.

additional functions including an environmental education center, meeting rooms, auditorium, offices and retail take place on site. taking the form of a traditional dutch farm to reference the agricultural roots of the village. the encompassing district integrates 42 social housing units, parking and public spaces to form a neighborhood. the masonry exterior of adjacent structures is introduced into the interior with brick pavers for the circulation spaces.

see our original coverage when this project was unveiled here.

view from market square image © jeroen musch

stairs lead to different levels to allow access to the mountain’s shelves image © jeroen musch

image © jeroen musch

seating and reading spaces border the mountain formed with bookshelves image © jeroen musch

a reading room and cafe are positioned at the peak image © jeroen musch

image © jeroen musch

upper level corridor image © jeroen musch

upper level corridor image © jeroen musch

exterior of the glass-enclosed mountain image © jeroen musch

at night image © jeroen musch

project info:

total budget incl. parking: 30 million EUR start project: 2003 start construction: may 2009 opening: october 2012 public part library: 3500 m2 environmental education centre: 112 m2 chess club: 140 m2 back office library: 370 m2 retail: 839 m2 commercial offices: 510 m2 length book shelves: 3205 m total (1565 m for lending, 1640 m archive) amount of books: currently 70.000 and space for another 80.000 the cover is 26 m tall and spans 33,5 m x 47 m parking: garage with grey water basin and 350 spaces client: gemeente spijkenisse user: openbare bibliotheek spijkenisse, milieuhuis spijkenisse, schaaksportvereniging spijkenisse architect: MVRDV, rotterdam, nl client housing: de leeuw van putten housing corporation installations: ARCADIS nederland, amersfoort, nl structure: ABT i.o.v. ARCADIS nederland, amersfoort, nl contractor: VORM bouw, papendrecht, nl technical architect: studio bouwhaven, barendrecht, nl book shelves: keijsers interior projects, horst a/d maas, nl glass: brakel atmos, uden, nl wood cover: de groot vroomshoop houtbouw, vroomshoop, nl interior advices: roukens + van gils, gouda, nl material book shelves: klp, lankhorst, sneek, nl climate, acoustics: dgmr, arnhem, nl lighting: arup, amsterdam lamps: viabizzuno, bologna, it foam furniture: feeks

  • I love most of MVRDV’s work, but has anybody ever seen what happens to a book after a month in full sunshine?

    john says:
  • a booklovers delight

    unfortunately nothing like this could be built on the side of the pond – the handicap accessibility mavens would wreak havoc on something like this

    glad to see that they toned down the presence of the brick a bit since the renderings

    love that big black stack’o’books sculpture

    dbkii says:
  • the whole district seems just fabulous…
    (the only concern re the library could possibly be sun control? it seems to be hitting the books directly, but we do not know how long and how hard…)

    Bruno de Paris says:
  • I must agree with the Sunlight comment. What thought was given to this issue.
    It also appears as though many of the books are out of reach.
    And a word, or 2, to dbkii; what would you say if you were handicapped and shut out of using the portions of the library that you so love?
    Handicapped mavens? Do you apply that mentality to other individuals that we unwittingly prejudge as not being worthy of consideration?
    Think.

    rcvs1 says:
  • A book palace as well as a light house. It seems to contain the collection of books on the topics covering all ov r the world.

    PrintingRay.com says:
  • Are you worried about sunshine?don’t.this beautiful library is in the netherlands.i will be visiting it soon and check how accessible it actually is for wheelchairs.

    chris says:
  • This project was conceived 10 years ago, I want to see what will look like 10 years from

    JOEbox says:
  • I am confident MRVD thought about sunlight. I actually can see some sort of blinds in the second pic. And lastly the Netherlands doesn\’t receive that much sunlight.

    Airborne says:
  • SOOOOOOO MASSIVE!?!?

    ENTER NAME HERE says:
  • What is inside of the book mountain? If there is a collection of rare books, I guess that they would be in a space within the book mountain. Planning for the collection to have only a four year life span as justification for the design is troublesome to me. Otherwise, I like the design, and wish to see more photos and drawings of it.

    Nelson says:
  • I was involved in the realization of this project. It’s 100% accessible for disabled people. The building is high-tech sustainable and most of the books are not displayed in the sun. It’s more for decoration.
    So no worries about sunrays and temperature!

    Daan van der Vorm says:
  • I have dealt with a physical handicap for the last forty five years. I adapt and don’t expect my surroundings to do so for me. There are some things I can not do, some activities I can not participate in, some opportunities that are not an option to me, and many occupations that I could not perform. It is not the duty of society to adapt to me.

    Europe has had a far more sensible approach to handicapped access than here in the states, ergo my comments. The mere fact that there is no EVIDENCE of the accessibility is refreshing. Here we would be likely to stick it out front and flaunt it to the detriment of the rest of the project. Mssr. DvdV: if the accessibility is truly there as you say, I congratulate you and your team on doing so with discretion and grace.

    dbkii says:
  • The library is not dead! It has returned with a vengeance!

    and Go Play Outside too! says:
  • How do you reach the higher books? third shelf books are bad enough, but third floor ones? No article I’ve read covers that…

    Eric Schramm says:

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