The last time I felt this dirty in a library I was a preteen sneakily reading sex scenes in The Best American Short Stories anthologies. This time around, I was standing inside the stark and sterile confines of Stuttgart’s Stadtbibliothek on a mid-August morning, and it suddenly felt as if I should have scrubbed a little harder during my morning shower.
A cube within a cube decorated with cubes, its severe Escher-like white interior makes it the architectural equivalent of an all-angles model who photographs well. The new Stuttgart City Library is very much the library for the modern era. Its all-white inverted pyramid gallery hall lined with books is a clever, if terrifyingly sterile marvel that makes the library one of the city’s most photographed destinations. It is also the latest selection for our monthly series, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.
The library opened to the public in 2011 and was designed by Yi Architects, which was founded by Eun Young Yi, a South Korean architect whose firms operates out of Cologne and Seoul. It is located on a hill that has recently become the site of a massive redevelopment project in Mailander Platz (Milan Square) in Stuttgart, Germany.