6 Insta-Worthy Libraries for Your Next #POTD
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6 Insta-Worthy Libraries for Your Next #POTD

Let’s face it, books are becoming obsolete. Us book nerds quietly weep with every e-book purchased on Kindle and when book stores tell us that they’ve stopped stocking up on our favourite author.

We used to be able to find solace in the dark, musty corners of libraries, where we could sit for hours on end with our favourite titles dreaming of a world that only existed in our imagination (well we can do that with Kindle too, albeit not as romantic).

Unfortunately, a quiet library is a thing of the past! What was once a place blessed with pin-drop silence is now buzzing with people and they’re trendy and hip.

Don’t believe us? Hashtags don’t lie.

1. Qatar National Library – Doha, Qatar

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn9ZagSgoVC/

This library is so Instagram-worthy, it doesn’t even need to try! From the outside, the building looks like a giant glass rhombus. This means the edges of the building are lifted from the ground. The interior has been designed as one big open space. If you stand in the middle of the room, you’ll see rows and rows of white bookshelves going in an upward manner to the end of the room.

Right smack in the middle of the room, six metres deep into the ground, are marble bookshelves housing the library’s Heritage Collection. Underground marble bookshelves?! Seriously?! If this doesn’t scream #librarygoals, we don’t know what will!

#qatarnationallibrary – 4,163 tags

GETTING THERE: You can check for available flights at Kiwi.com

2. Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Alexandria, Egypt

Image: 123rf

The concept behind this USD200 million mega library/research centre in Alexandria, Egypt was inspired by the Great Library of Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus in 285BC. Opened in 2001 Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s location by the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea should already be a dead giveaway of its Instagram potential. Of course, we highly doubt this was on the minds of the architects when they designed this structure. This library is also where old and rare manuscripts and books are digitalised. Hopefully, no one accidentally reads from The Book of the Dead and resurrects any mummies in the process, though!

The structure of the library is a large disk, representing the sun, and measures 160 metres in diameter. Along the outside of the disk, you’ll see Egyptian hieroglyphics about world civilisation. Plus, there’s a moat surrounding the exterior of the building. Inside, the building is divided into three areas – the library, a conference centre and a planetarium – and makes the most of the natural desert sunlight. Lighting is everything for the perfect selfie, no?

#biblioalexandrina – 3,267 tags    

GETTING THERE: You can check for available flights at Kiwi.com

3. Binhai Library – Tianjin, China

Image: MVRDV

The German architects who designed the Tianjin Binhai Library probably had one thing on their mind when they were working on the blueprint – Instagram potential! Looking at this mega library from the outside, you will see a giant eye with a white pupil staring back at you. This is courtesy of the luminous sphere in the main auditorium area. On the inside, the 33,700 square metre library is a vision of white with its terraced bookshelves that look like gentle waves cascading all the way up to the ceiling. However, over the years, the library has received some backlash because some of the books on the higher-level shelves, are not actually books but images of books that are painted on!

Since it first opened in 2017, the library is said to have attracted over 1.7 million visitors, who probably didn’t know about the fake books. But we don’t think this mattered to them because how can you not put up a photo of a building so unique?

#tianjinbinhailibrary – 1,880 tags

GETTING THERE: AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Tianjin. Book your seats now at airasia.com

4. Green Square Library – Sydney, Australia


Image: Julian Yeo

From the outside, the first thing that catches your attention is the glass pyramid. Inside, there’s an underground space for you to read or work. And if you need to relax, there’s also a garden where you can get some fresh air. If you’re wondering where the Instagram-worthy parts are…hang on, we’re getting there. Up on the fourth floor of the six-storey glass tower, you’ll see a grand piano, where you’ll surely want to play a tune…even if you’re tone deaf. The glass walls in this room give you a full view of Green Square down below. The right lighting during sunset with the grand piano will make any self-respecting Instagrammer go nuts.

But the ultimate icing on the cake is the art installation at the library’s Reading Room. Here, the books are arranged on the shelves according to the colour spectrum and in case you’re wondering, they’re all real books that have been masked with coloured tape to create the installation. It is absolutely stunning! Now you know why Instagrammers flock here in droves!

#greensquarelibrary – 1,216 tags

GETTING THERE: AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. Book your seats now at airasia.com

5. Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch – Taipei, Taiwan

Image: 123rf

This eco-friendly library was opened in 2006 and is the first of its kind in Taiwan. It’s mostly made of wood and features large French windows to allow plenty of sunlight and natural ventilation. The library was also the first building in Taiwan to receive the ‘Green Building’ certification. Amidst the concrete jungle, the timber library is like a wonderful natural haven. There’s also a large pond in front of the building with plenty of lily pads floating to add to the sense of serenity to the place.

This public library is a major Taiwan attraction as it is located near the Beitou hot springs. Chances are the many tourists who come here aren’t interested with the vast collection of 20,000 Chinese and English literature books. Instead, yes, you guessed it, they come in droves for Instagram photos!

#beitoulibrary – 866 tags

GETTING THERE: AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei. Book your seats now at airasia.com

6. Stuttgart City Library – Germany

Image: 123rf

A big white cube – this is the most accurate description of the Stuttgart City Library. But if you think the exterior itself is good enough for a #buildingsofinstagram hashtag, wait till you get inside. The interior too is a vision of white starting with the perfectly symmetrical entrance.

The main gallery is in a square shape and extends up to five storeys with shelves of books surrounding all sides of the gallery and the stairs that connects each level is arranged in a spiral shape so getting from one level to another gives you the full view of the main gallery. The spines of the books on the shelves gives a wonderful contrast to the stark white of the interior making it a popular spot for Instagrammers in Stuttgart.  

#stuttgartcitylibrary – 422 tags

GETTING THERE: You can check for available flights at Kiwi.com

 

Greg takes joy in writing press releases and has an almost unhealthy obsession with Sydney and nasi lemak.

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