Bibliotheca Alexandrina
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Architect Snøhetta
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Location Shatby, Egypt   map
Date 1989 to 2001   timeline
Building Type large regional public library
 Construction System granite cladding
Climate desert
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes with Hamza Associates of Cairo. Overlooking the Mediterranean.
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Discussion Bibliotheca Alexandrina Commentary

"The reading room seats 2000 persons and is flexible in its accommodation of current and future technologies.

"The room surges upward with a kind of seismic energy while still maintaining an intimacy familiar in Arabic space. The curving wall of the interior creates a secure space for meditation. The surrounding walls move upward and around to further enhance this character.

"Pushing up through the interior space are slender columns capped with prism shapes that further distribute light from the overhead skylights. The skylights rise from beneath the earth in a simple repetitive pattern of tetrahedrons.

"They face north and are designed not to allow direct sunlight into the main space. The light through these pyramids changes throughout the day to provide a connection to the changing environment."

— Victor A. Khoueiry, ArchitectureWeek No. 67

Resources
Sources on Bibliotheca Alexandrina

"Legendary Library Resurrected", by Victor A. Khoueiry, ArchitectureWeek No. 67, 2001.0919, pD1-1.

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Web Resources
Links on Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Bibliotheca AlexandrinaEnglish language version of the library's official web site

Bibliotheca Alexandrina at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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