MVRDV’s New Library
A lower-middle class suburb of Rotterdam sees Book Mountain, a new library and town center by MVRDV. Spijkenisse, a quiet neighborhood across from the city’s busy industrial port, has a 10% illiteracy rate—Book Mountain, explains the architects, is an “advertisement for reading.”
The project took nearly a decade to complete, and cost $39 million. The massive glass-and-timber building houses around almost 10,000 feet of bookshelves, ramping upwards in a continuous “mountain” that ends at the roof, where a cafe gives visitors views of the neighborhood and port. Around it, a mixed-use development of 42 affordable housing units, a parking lot, and various commercial spaces form a red brick podium for the library, which glows like a beacon at night.
“The exterior of the library refers in shape and materiality to the traditional Dutch Farm,” explain the architects. “It’s a reminder of the towns agricultural past, which has grown from farming village to Ville Nouvelle in the past 40 years.”