PPS Slams Koolhaas's Seattle Library

The Project for Public Spaces asks if architecture critics have forgotten how to judge public spaces.
July 14, 2004, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Situated above street-level without any relation to the sidewalk below, [readers] relate to the city outside in a purely visual fashion. If the library were a true 'community hub,' its most active areas would connect directly to the street, spinning off activity in every direction.

That is where Koolhaas's library, sealed away from the sidewalks and streets around it, fails completely. In fact, patrons are already bemoaning its lack of accessibility. This is not only a missed opportunity to bring new life to the area around the library, it also means that use of the library itself will ebb in the long run. When the hype has died down, what will remain is another self-contained architectural object that adds little to public life around it. And this certainly shouldn't come as a shock, given that Koolhaas himself once famously proclaimed public space to be obsolete."

Thanks to The Practice of New Urbanism Listserv

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Published on Sunday, July 11, 2004 in Project For Public Spaces
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