Where you will wish you understood Dutch

Even if libraries are usually not on your list unless they are hundreds of years old, you should not miss a visit to Amsterdam’s modern central library.

Chairs in Amsterdam's central library - Olympus OM-D EM10, 14mm (28mm equivalent), f11, 1/8, cropped

Chairs in Amsterdam’s central library – Olympus OM-D EM10, 14mm (28mm equivalent), f11, 1/8, cropped

The building dates from 2007 and was designed by the Dutch architect Jo Coenen. It is the largest public library in Europe and holds seven floors full of books, inviting chairs and multimedia stations. This library is not just about searching an old, dusty book in a catalog and taking it home. It is not about grumpy librarians watching your every step to make sure you don’t steal that dusty book. This library is about reading as an experience, and offers a calm and soothing atmosphere. The dominant color is white, giving the library a fresh and clean look, and the book shelves are illuminated with orange and blue LEDs, tempting us to read, dream and learn – if we only knew Dutch!
I love how the books are illuminated in this library!

I love how the books are illuminated in this library!

Proudly wearing our Christmas presents!

Proudly wearing our Christmas presents!

There is a playfully decorated children’s section on the lowest floor, and a cafeteria with views over the city and the water on the top floor. I cannot say that I would recommend the coffee they serve but the soups and salads did look good and the view is worth it anyways. To read more about the design of the library, try this article. To plan your visit, check the information on this page, and to see more images from the library, keep on scrolling down on this blog.
Kids' section on the lowest floor.

Kids’ section on the lowest floor.


A dash of color in the bright and modern library

A dash of color in the bright and modern library


The library from the outside - I should have gotten that picture when we entered and the sun was still shining and before my general purpose zoom lens broke inside the lirbrary. As it is, this is the only picture of the outside of the building that I can offer you.

The library from the outside – I should have gotten that picture when we entered and the sun was still shining and before my general purpose zoom lens broke inside the library. As it is, this is the only picture of the outside of the building that I can offer you.


The building has a modern yet inviting architecture with lots of white - Olympus OM-D EM10, 14mm (28mm equivalent), f5.0, 1/160

The building has a modern yet inviting architecture with lots of white – Olympus OM-D EM10, 14mm (28mm equivalent), f5.0, 1/160


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This article was published on perelincolors.com.

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