Seattle Central Library
The Seattle Central Library was designed by Rem Koolhaas
“The opinion of architectural critics and the general public has been mixed; many like the new library but are less fond of its unusual design. Paul Goldberger, writing in The New Yorker, declared the Seattle Central Library "the most important new library to be built in a generation, and the most exhilarating." The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Washington awarded the Library its Platinum Award for innovation and engineering in its "structural solutions".
“Recently Lawrence Cheek, the architecture critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, reconsidered his earlier praise. Cheek revisited the building in 2007 and found it "confusing, impersonal, uncomfortable, oppressive" on the whole, with various features "decidedly unpleasant," "relentlessly monotonous," "badly designed and cheesily detailed," "profoundly dreary and depressing," and "cheaply finished or dysfunctional," concluding that his earlier praise for the building was a "mistake."
”The library was also roundly condemned by the Project for Public Spaces, which noted "if the library were a true 'community hub,' its most active areas would connect directly to the street, spinning off activity in every direction. That is where Koolhaas's library, sealed away from the sidewalks and streets around it, fails completely." It went on to note "critics have cast it as a masterpiece of public space design. As if blinded by the architect's knack for flash and publicity, they cannot locate, or perhaps refuse to acknowledge, the faults in his creation."
“On the other hand, usage of the building is more than double the predicted volume. In the library's first year, 2.3 million individuals came to visit the library, roughly 30% were out-of-town. The library was also found to have generated $16 million in new economic activity for its surrounding area during this period.”
I thought it was delightful!