1st Edition

The New Public Library Design Innovation for the Twenty-First Century

By R. Thomas Hille Copyright 2019
    456 Pages 560 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    456 Pages 560 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The New Public Library is an in-depth design study of an exemplary collection of recent public libraries, and the historical precedents that have informed and inspired their development. An introductory overview presents seven critical themes that characterize public library design, past and present, highlighting the expressive architectural potential of this unique and important building type. A survey of over 40 historically significant libraries traces the development of the building type over time, with a primary focus on precedents from the US and northern Europe, where the modern public library originated, and its design has been most comprehensively developed. A selection of nearly 50 contemporary projects from the past 30 years focuses on the most current developments in public library design, with a diverse and varied collection of work by over 35 regional, national, and international design firms. Highly visual in its presentation, the study includes 885 color photographs and illustrations, and 195 scale drawings.

    Part 1: Precedents  1. European Influences: Before 1800  2. Early Public Libraries in the U.S.: 1800 to 1880s  3. Early Beaux-Arts Libraries: 1850s to 1910s  4. Carnegie Libraries: 1890s to 1920s  5. Decentralized Departmental Libraries: 1890s to 1930s  6. Early Modern Libraries: 1920s to 1940s  7. Postwar Modern Libraries: 1950s and 1970s  8. Post-Modern Libraries: 1970s and 1980s  Part 2: Projects 9. Central Municipal and Regional Libraries  10. Urban Neighborhood Branch Libraries 11. Suburban Neighborhood Branch and Community Libraries 12. Collocated Libraries, Additions, and Modernizations 13. Libraries in Northern Europe     Bibliography. Image Credits. Architect and Firm Biographies. Index.


    R. Thomas Hille is an architect, educator, and researcher based in Seattle, Washington, USA. His previous books on architecture and design include Modern Schools and Inside the Large-Small House.

    The New Public Library is a fascinating study of library design in time. The book is lavishly illustrated, with plenty of color and black and white images and drawings to support the extensively researched text. It is mouth-watering in equal measure for architects, designers, librarians and library historians. The book can inspire worldwide travel, but can also be enjoyed by armchair-travelers.”
    Sergio Dogliani, Idea Store, Tower Hamlets (London, UK)

    ''No other comparative history has provided such comprehensive material and permitted such intense study of library design.''

    Maxi Schreiber, Libraries: Culture, History & Society