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The United States is home to thousands of public, private and university-owned libraries – and they’re each beautiful in their own way. We’ve drilled down 10 of the best examples of great architectural styles, from neoclassical to brutalist.
In 1998, Seattle voted to improve all 22 branches of the Seattle Public Library. The location of the central library stayed the same, but was completely redeveloped by architect visionaries Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus. Following the principle that form follows function, they created an accessible design that celebrates literature. Working closely with the public as well as the library board and staff, Koolhaas and Prince-Ramus revamped the entire library building, adding space and improving function. These days, the library houses over 1m items with an improved digital archive and more than 400 computers.